Color is all around us. I love color, and you can see what colors I am drawn to by looking through my home and the clothes I buy. We all have specific color palettes that appeal to us and impact how we feel. There are a lot of emotional and psychological impacts on us when viewing different colors in nature, our surroundings, and in design. For example, a turquoise color may make you feel calm as this is a color found in nature that brings the feeling of peace.
Milton Glaser is a prominent twentieth century American graphic designer. I was fortunate enough to view his original work at MoMA and was intrigued by his use of color to impact the design. He is famously known for designing the most recognized logo, I ♥ NY. Some of his other notable works include the bullet logo for DC Comics and the Bob Dylan poster. Additionally, he founded Milton Glaser, Inc., which is still producing incredible art.
This week using Glaser as inspiration, I created a silhouette from an image of my son in Photoshop. I took this image into Illustrator, and after making it a vector artwork using the image trace tool, I created colorful shapes to make the hair on the image. My son is full of energy and always laughing. If I were to put a color to his personality, it would be bright and loud with the feeling of constant movement. To deliver the bold brightness I was looking for, I decided to use cool colors. I grouped the objects of the hair and created two additional layers, which I colored differently.
“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.”
― Wassily Kandinsky
The first Illustration is using primary colors RYB of red, yellow, and blue. It also incorporates the three secondary shades of green, orange, and purple. The use of these colors is complementary, meaning they oppose each other on the color wheel like red and green.
For the second Illustration, I used deeper colors of turquoise to show a quieter version of his personality. By choosing a bright hue of turquoise and adjusting the intensity to find similar complementing tones, I was able to stay within the same color family.
And finally, in the third Illustration, I brought back the primary and secondary colors but also incorporated the blues green tones of the second version. I wanted to capture all his moods in the span of an afternoon — with the highs, lows, and taking on the world attitude he has every day.
Lindsay Kolowich says, “Humans are visual creatures.” This statement is evident in the way we react to color in marketing and our surroundings. When I showed the design I had made to my son, he lit up and yelled, “I look like a ROCK STAR!” For me, I saw his personality, and for him, he saw something much larger than I imagined. He saw rainbows and electricity that yelled superstar, where I saw him in colors as my bundle of chaos and love that starts and ends my days.
Now take a look at the colors around you and see what emotions they evoke within you.
Baker, Justin. (4 December 2007.) The Ultimate UX Guide to Color Design. Retrieved from Muzli: https://medium.muz.li/the-ultimate-ux-guide-to-color-design-4d0a18a706ed
Kolowich, Lindsay. (3 November 2017.) https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/psychology-of-color. Retrieved from Hubspot:
Landa, R. (2019). Graphic design solutions. Boston, MA: Cengage.