Monday, November 29, 2010

Color Transforms

Focusing once again on the advertising world in our society, one can see that color plays an important role in that whole design process.  Color can be used as emphasis or used as dominance or even used to create color schemes and evoke certain moods and feels.  But anyway you look at it, more often than not, color has the power to transform any design it occupies.

Coca-Cola companies have been known over the years as designing truly creative advertisements—both in the two-dimensional print form and in animation.  This Coca-Cola design is no exception and really plays with the capabilities of color.  Based off of the black and white background, I can really tell that the designers intended to have the bright colors be bold and stand out in the advertisement.  Initially, it feels as though there are hundreds of different colors of arrows throughout the picture.  But looking more closely, I realize that there are only seven or eight different colors.   Why is it that it seems like so many more when one is looking at the picture as a whole?

In his book, The Interaction of Color, Josef Albers answers that very question.  He points out that “color has many faces” (8).  Based off of the surroundings of a color, it can appear differently to the human eye.  When a color is surrounded by warm colors (reds, oranges), the shade will actually appear differently than it would if it were surrounded by cold colors (blues, violets).    For the Coca-Cola advertisement, each color is surrounded by so many different colors, making one pink arrow sometimes appear tinted slightly different that another one.  Then by combining that concept with all seven colors that are represented in the design, the advertisement appears to have significantly more colors and shades than it actually has!

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