The Psychology of Colour

Posted: May 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Colour is something that we experience on a day-to-day basis; it is something that we cannot escape. It is in everything that use, see, touch and can be used as a form of expression. Certain colors can induce sensations for example warm colors such as red, orange, yellow would evoke feelings ranging from warmth and comfort to hostility and anger. On the other side of the spectrum there are cold colours such as purple for example has a royal feel to it.

According to the post, here are colors and their corresponding associations as perceived in the North American mainstream culture:

Red –excitement, strength, sex, passion, speed, danger.

Blue –(listed as the most popular color) trust, reliability, belonging, and coolness.

Yellow –warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness

Orange — playfulness, warmth, vibrant

Green — nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance

Purple –royal, spirituality, dignity

Pink — soft, sweet, nurture, security

White –pure, virginal, clean, youthful, mild.

Black –sophistication, elegant, seductive, mystery

Gold — prestige, expensive

Silver — prestige, cold, scientific

In relation to advertising and marketing, color schemes are used to enhance sales figures an example of this is the colour scheme for Bold washing up powder.  A royal color scheme is being used which include colours such as purple, gold which gives the feeling of prestige and white which is universally recognized representing cleanliness and purity.

(Source: http://pzrservices.typepad.com/advertisingisgoodforyou/2009/05/color-psychology-in-branding.html)

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Paul Rand

Posted: May 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Paul Rand was an American graphic designer well-known for his corporate logo designs and identities, including the logos for IBM, UPS and ABC. He started creating stock images for a syndicate that designed graphics for newspapers and magazines and his later work in page designs was his initial source of reputation.

Corporate logo designs

Rands logos are always simplified and perhaps this is what gives them their visual authority. He has vast knowledge of form and colour and perhaps single handedly convinced businesses that identity is a powerful tool.

“Among these young Americans it seems to be that Paul Rand is one of the best and most capable… He is a painter, lecturer, industrial designer and advertising artist who draws his knowledge and creativeness from the resources of this country. He is an idealist and realist, using the language of the poet and business man. He thinks in terms of need and function. He is able to analyse his problems but his fantasy is boundless.“Thoughts on Rand.” 

Heller Steven

Thoughts on Rand. May–June 1997

Eye Bee M poster designed by Rand in 1981 for IBM.

Ed Fella

Posted: May 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Ed Fella was born in 1938 and has had an important influence on contemporary typography as a graphic designer. He has work in the National Design museum in New York and has published several books on typography and graphic design.

Commercial art alphabet: Not a font. 2005

He practiced professionally as a commercial artist in Detroit for 30 years before receiving an MFA in Design from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1987.

Ed Fella’s approach to type is very energetic and vibrant, his use of colour and the looseness of his hand when working in his sketchbooks is hugely inspiring. In 2007 he became an AIGA Medalist and Half of an issue of Emigre magazine is devoted to him.

“Over the years, Fella has created a body of work that’s as compelling as it is unique. Prodigiously mashing up low-culture sources with high-culture erudition, Fella’s work—perhaps more than that of any other contemporary designer—makes visible the postmodern concept of deconstruction, which recognizes that behind every articulated meaning is a host of other, usually repressed meanings, some antithetical. By battering and mixing fonts, engaging in visual puns and generally violating the tenets of “good design,” Fella lets a thousand flowers bloom. His designs don’t cut through the clutter—they revel in it.”

By Vince Carducci
(www.aiga.org/content.cfm/medalist-edfella)

Polaroid photographs of vernacular lettering, 1990 to 2005.

Modernism and Postmodernism

Posted: May 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Modernism is an intellectual and artistic movement that developed in conjunction with, and eventually in opposition to, fully developed modernity.”

(Marxist theory: An on-line seminar from Illinois state university)

Every culture believes that they are modern, from the ancient Greeks to modern society, so modernism is never truly definable but modernism noticeably started after the 1st world war during the industrial and now technological ages and rejects theories of superstitious and super natural beliefs.

                                                                                                                 Piet Mondrian Composition A 1923                                                                                                            

 Post-modernism is arguably the most depressing philosophy ever to spring from the western mind. It is difficult to talk about post-modernism because nobody really understands it. It’s allusive to the point of being impossible to articulate. But what this philosophy basically says is that we’ve reached an endpoint in human history. That the modernist tradition of progress and ceaseless extension of the frontiers of innovation are now dead. Originality is dead. The avant-garde artistic tradition is dead. All religions and utopian visions are dead and resistance to the status quo is impossible because revolution too is now dead. Like it or not, we humans are stuck in a permanent crisis of meaning, a dark room from which we can never escape.”                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Kalle Lasn & Bruce Grierson, A Malignant Sadness)

Identity (race and gender)

Posted: May 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Identity is what makes us unique, from our height, hair colour, nationality or opinions. Everything we believe in and everything we are makes up our identity and sets us aside from one an other makings us individuals of equal rights.

Race and Gender are two factors of anyones identity. Men and Woman used to be seen as unequal with men believed as superior to woman. Men had higher job opportunities and were seen as more intelligent/capable workers and as a result where in higher positions. Woman’ s rights have since been improved and in the western world woman are largely seen equal to men. Some cultures still however have the archaic belief of superiority of male over female and woman can be harshly oppressed.

Race is the classification of humans into groups based on factors such as culture, ethnicity, ancestral and geographical background. All humans belong to the same subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens, but much of the public use race in a simplistic and naive way even though it has little significance.

Through the narrow minded beliefs of humans race has been the cause and aim of many social and historical disputes. From Terrorism in the modern world to slavery. Some cultures believe they are a superior to other races and can portray this in extreme ways. Other races are oppressed because of their ancestral or geographical background. In the western world today ignorant individuals and groups perform acts of racism and oppression on ethnic minorities purely because of where they are from or their appearance.                                                                           

Semiotics

Posted: May 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Semiotics is the study of signs, also referred to as Semiology or Semiotic studies. Semiotics can be scrutinised in three different categories: Semantics, Syntactics and Pragmatics.

Semantics: The meaning of signs.

Syntactics: Relations among signs.

Pragmatics: The effects of signs on people and relations between signs.

Linguist Ferdinand de Saussure described a sign as being composed of two parts: The signifier and the signified.

Signifier: The form which the sign takes.

Signified: The concept it represents.

For a sign to be a sign it must have a signifier and a signified to be associated with. For example, if we see a door we automatically think door, but the same signifier can signify different concepts and without the signified the ‘sign’ will have no meaning and thus not be a sign.

Signs usually always ‘stand for’ something or represent something to their users and semiotician Jonathan Swift said in common sense signs stand directly for physical things in our life and the world.

The letter M is semiotic with many different signified meanings and associations.

In this case M signifies Mcdonalds and everything we associate it with.

Here it signifies M&M’s and all that we associate them with.

Anything can be a sign it just needs to represent something, an action, a feeling a word. Many of us perceive signs as having a visual concept, but a noise can be a sign.

Hello world!

Posted: February 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

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