Unit 4: Color

Color is essential to art. So this section talks about about the Fundamentals of color. Color is a language all of its own and has the ability to change its meaning within different contexts. Color needs to be selected carefully, much like type, to be able to better convey the mood of a design. When picking out colors, one must be aware of how it will affect the audience that is trying to be reached. In school, before we are accepted into our art majors, we are required to take classes that teach us how to understand color in how it works, how the colors are classified and how to describe them. Color has three main classifications which include:hue, tone and saturation. A basic thing, that needs to be known, is that colored light and colored pigment do not work in the same manner as the other. These two systems are known as RGB which is good for a motor and CYMK which is meant for printing. Color can also play into the legibility, contrast and harmony  of design. Legibility can depend on how the medium is being received, whether it is on a screen or printed makes a huge difference. Color association speaks into the audience and how something is received, because color carries a history and that has given different colors different meanings. An example of a color with meaning would be black symbolizing death. Colors can provoke emotion, so a designer cannot not use a color just because it is pretty. A good designer knows the history of a color and chooses accordingly (but for real, we have all picked colors cause they look pretty). Color has helped in information design. It helps direct the reader in categorizing what they are looking at and where they need to go, an example of this would be street signs or subway systems.

Our reading discussed Pantone colors, but an online article that I found goes into more depth. Pantone is a worldwide color system, it is the common language of color. Every year Pantone comes out with a color of the year and in 2015 the color was Marsala number 18-1438. Each Pantone color is assigned a number and that is how that specific color is represented. I am not sure how one becomes accustomed to this number system, but I hope that I will figure it out one day. Pantone has a matching system that is the way in which colors are standardized in CYMK. In class, it is never stressed enough to use Pantone when creating any designs when using an adobe system. There is another system called PMS, which stand for pantone matching system, that provides correct color mixtures of matching colors. PMS can then be translated into the screen based colors of RGB. PMS is important because it carries authority in creating products on a universal scale. Marketing uses PMS so that they utilize the correct color of the logo(s) being used. This matching system is not always perfect though, because not all of the colors may  not be available. Color is an imperative element of branding. That is why designers and businesses alike are encouraged to follow logo/branding guidelines. Unfortunately for designers, sometime businesses use the closest color possible so that they do not have to pay for the PMS fee.

(article found at http://www.garrettspecialties.com/blog/promotional-products/the-importance-of-color-and-the-pantone-color-of-the-year/)


(image found: http://logok.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/FedEx_logo.png)

The FedEx logo is very recognizable, the combination of purple and orange are their signifier. They have used these colors in a way that the words cannot be without the proper colors. It is a log that is dependable.


(image found: http://www.afn.org/~alplatt/tube.html)

This image was talked about in the reading. This is a way that color is used as information in aiding the reader. This system has proved to be very successful and beautifully designed.


(image found: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/flags/countrys/asia/china.htm)

The Chinese flag is a great example of color that carries meaning. The yellow is meant to be red as golden for the stars that are on the flag. Red in Chinese culture is a positive and loved color, but here and many other places it means carries other meanings. Red can induce stress or remind people of blood.


(image found: http://brownandpratt.com/packaging-services/custom-plastic-bags/printing-ink/)

The reading and my online discuss Pantone colors. Here is a big chart that showcases the PMS suitable for printing in CYMK. I think it is funny that in the top, there is a note that says that the colors may vary between printing monitors. Printing, for the designer specifically, has its many challenges.


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