May 16, 2017
Shown in True Colors
By TJ DiFrancesco
As a writer, I’ve always been fascinated by the other side of the creative equation: the elusive beast known as the designer. While written content is important, the role of the designer is essential; they’re the ones who bring it to life in technicolor. When I started in advertising, all I could do is marvel at the design process, the way a slash of cerulean or a custom, mossy green texture made the written elements more than just words. Since then, I’ve hit the books (one especially, you can find the review for it here). The history and science of color are deep pools.
We don’t just see colors, we’re actually conditioned (through evolution) to react to colors—even physiologically. Red seems to be especially manipulative. It can increase your heart rate, among other things. These reactions aren’t always a one-to-one system either. Lighter blues can be calming, while darker blues can increase introspection (even to the point of making people feel “blue”). Even white, which some argue is not a color and other argue is every color, has a significance. (For all you Pixar fans out there, the movie “Inside Out” was basically a study in color psychology—each emotion having its own personality and color.)
Through all this, I’ve learned some good Jeopardy-worthy trivia. But this wouldn’t be a very good blog post if it didn’t end with a long extended metaphor. Though design can have a palette and a feel, the most important thing is finding balance and using color to direct the eye towards the most important part of the design. The colors work together to create an effect. It’s really a metaphor for the creative process. Colors have their own distinct personalities, but it’s a composite of these that makes something truly beautiful. That idea of collaboration is what drives our creative process at UPBrand. Whatever we’re doing, we’re doing it together.