Wunderkammer of Color: September 2012 Edition

Say it with me now: A-U-T-U-M-N! It’s on the way now: crisp evenings, bumpy gourds, apple-picking excursions (complete with hayrides)—and, of course, the stunning array of leaves that make this season so delightful for the color-obsessed.

Let’s dive into some of the best color finds of the moment.

World Skin Colors scarves: India

World Skin Colors scarves: India (http://worldskincolors.com/scarves)

Fresh from the New York International Gift Fair, we bring you Reineke Otten’s clever World Skin Colors project. The designer distilled an array of statistics about different countries—including migration patterns, population density, GDP, weather records, and transportation data—into a wearable infographic printed on silk scarves. This result is smart, stylish, and conversation-provoking—tie one of these babies on and strut about town a bit.

For an entirely opposite take on the topic of color and skin, check out Insane in the Chromatophores, a giddy little experiment with cephalopods brought to you by Backyard Brains and the Marine Biological Labs in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. (We learned of it from the giggling science slackers at io9.) This is what happens when you pump electrical signals from an iPod into a squid’s chromatophores—the skin structures that dilute or shrink to adjust the animal’s color for camouflage. Look, Ma, I’m studying!

The First Color Film via UK's National Media Museum

The First Color Film via UK’s National Media Museum

A less frivolous scientific first: researchers in the UK’s National Media Museum have unearthed the world’s oldest color film, dating back to 1902. Unlike other early color films, this one’s not hand-tinted; it’s actually shot in color. Watching it is quietly awe-inspiring, like watching the world as we know it suddenly click into focus.

Thomas Allen cut books

Thomas Allen cut books (http://thomasallenonline.com/)

Sticking with back-to-school-style reveries for a moment: wouldn’t it be smashing if schoolbooks opened up to reveal marvels like the one above, created by the Michigan-based book artist Thomas Allen? (Hat tip to ThisisColossal for the find.)



If you’re actually sending a little one back to school this fall, you might sweeten his or her transition with a nice new app for the iPhone called Cobypic. Part coloring-book app, part drawing device, Cobypic lets you stroll around planet Earth, sampling colors that you can easily turn into a palette for coloring or drawing. (Watch its Kickstarter video for a trial run.) It’s easy and fun, simultaneously structured and open-ended, and quite kid-friendly. Let your kids give it a whirl (or download it on the sly for yourself).

Until next time…


Continued Reading:

How to Convert CMYK to Pantone

If you love color trends, you’ll really love MyDesignShop’s biggest Pantone sale ever: through September 30, take an extra 10 percent off already discounted prices.

Color & Design, Imprint: Print Magazine's Design Blog, Jude Stewart

About Jude Stewart

Jude Stewart is a PRINT contributing editor. She has written on design and culture for Slate, Fast Company, The Believer, I.D., Metropolis, and Design Observer, among many others. She has authored two books, both published by Bloomsbury: ROY G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book About Color (2013) and Patternalia: An Unconventional History of Polka Dots, Stripes, Plaid, Camouflage and Other Graphic Patterns (2015). Follow her tweets on color at twitter.com/joodstew.

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