Color

Oh boy…color. It’s one of those things where you eventually have to make a decision. And stick to it. For some people though, selecting the color or set of colors is time consuming and arduous. Especially when trying not to pick the same ones that were used for a previous project. The other issue when choosing color(s) is to resist the temptation to fall back on your favorite palette. My personal favorite falls in to the orange (which is incidentally my favorite color), yellow and blue hues. It’s evident in my work as seen below.

un lápiz | blog - header image
Top: Some samples of my work with a similar color palette. Above: My old palette for Un Lápiz using four colors.

And I am trying to change that. Of course many times your selection for a project is dependent on a client’s already established main and secondary brand colors. Other times, the subject matter conveniently hands you your color palette, more on that further down in my post. Additionally, there are times when budgetary constraints on a project don’t allow for a selection of more than one color. But when the freedom arises to use other colors, it’s an exciting feeling. However, the whole spectrum of the rainbow isn’t ideal, unless you’re a package of Skittles. Many times, we subconsciously or consciously select colors that are trending or, again, fall into the personal tastes spectrum. There is a lot of psychology behind the selection and liking of colors. I won’t go into that as its a very interesting topic that can be discussed, or written about, at great length.

One of the great ways of selecting colors is by first doing the artwork in black and white (greys are included). I remember this was taught to us during our first year of design school in the appropriately named Color Theory class. But it’s a method I completely forgot about until I came across an artist profile in Adobe’s Create Magazine. The artist is Brian Miller. He creates his illustrations in black and white before selecting his colors. It’s a method I’ve started using once again in my designs. For example, when choosing them for the redesign of my logo, and even though the name dictated the colors I chose: yellow and red, I still wanted to make sure that there was enough contrast between the two bright colors I ultimately went with. The name Un Lápiz means ‘a pencil’ in English, and for the most part pencils are yellow, but noticeable is the fact that I didn’t go with a 100% yellow. The color of the lettering on regular pencils is different from pencil to pencil, but I selected red because it complements the yellow and there is enough contrast between it, and the offset yellow. Additionally for me, it also gives the feeling of being Hispanic, which is what I want to get across.

Ultimately, I am happy with my color selection. I am going out to celebrate with some Skittles.

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