Designers often have certain elements that influence their particular style, expression, and creativity. They usually have that one element that they can always fall back on, in times when the white paper/screen is just too much to handle, they can always rely on their roots, what got them to the place they are today.
My element of choice is color. Sure it’s pretty to look at and all, but color is a language, a language that can speak volumes to an audience. It is a language that can mean so many different things in a variety of cultures. Color is the one thing that inspires me the most among the rest.
A classic example of color used today in our pop culture is exemplified by Sony. I have provided a few commercials by Sony that are absolutely breathtaking. They took the theme of color, and brought it to another level. No matter how many times I watch these videos, I always sit back in awe and get immersed in the pure joy color has to offer.
But be careful, color can also be tricky and work against you. Often times an audience can find certain colors offensive and just too much to look at. There has to be a fine medium within color, and it often takes time and patience. It is tricky because it is largely due to a preference of opinion. Designers often get stuck in familiar color schemes just because they “like the way they look” or “that’s my favorite color”. A successful designer has the capability to break away from their favorite color schemes, and can understand a target audience and the impact color can have with a particular message. Red can mean love, and it can also mean danger at the same time. You have to treat each color differently and understand its graphical impact within each individual setting.
A good exercise to expand your experience with color is to attempt to create a design piece by starting with colors you hate. You know, those colors you see and you go, ew, I can’t bare to look at it anymore. You will find that it is harder than it sounds, but more rewarding in the end. You will realize that even though it isn’t your favorite piece of work, you were given a problem, and you created a solution. That is graphic design in a nutshell: the process of creating a visual solution in order to convey an effective message to a target audience.
I have come across a designer named Teresa Nunez. I find her work to be pure joyful to look at, and I greatly admire the attention to detail she has put into many of her pieces. Not to mention her amazing skills with color. Check out some of these:
As you can see, color can make or break a design. Pay attention to it, and don’t be afraid to try new things. Research your audience, understand the interaction between certain colors and what emotion is shown. And just remember, the next time you are hitting a brick wall and can’t think anything creative, look no further than color. Because like I said, color is a language, just let it do all the talking.
Russell Hampton | www.russellhampton.net
*Make sure you check out Russell’s portfolio to get a little taste of how he uses the element of color in his own work. He is a very talented graphic artist and we are excited to have him share some of his secrets.*
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