In this section, you will find articles about the use of color within various industries. Click on the RSS icon to the subscribe to our Color Articles feed in your newsreader.
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Color psychologists maintain that certain colors affect our moods, and those moods, in turn, affect our ability to be productive. Regardless of the location or size of your office or work space, any adjustment that can contribute to a higher level of productivity is worth considering. Perhaps it’s time to improve a color scheme that has become outdated and boring. Adding the right colors can bring new life into your work space and increase the creativity, communication, collaboration and energy flow.
Until recently, blue has been the all-time color of choice for offices and cubicles. Sky blue, royal blue and navy blue are popular variations. While the stronger, darker versions may be too overpowering for walls, adding a piece of Blue Jay office furniture allows you to introduce a pop of color without redoing the entire room. A blue area rug, lamp shade, file folders or desk accessories can accomplish the same purpose. Pale blue helps maintain focus and task completion. However, blues may not be the best choice for personalities that are already relaxed and have low-energy levels.
Although green is typically a cool color, some of the soft, warmer shades have become popular choices for today’s modern offices. Green hints at outdoors and fresh air and nature at its finest. Bring in some living Bamboo, Money Plants, Snake Plants, or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue for an even greener atmosphere. These varieties flourish in dark offices and naturally filter air pollutants. If you entertain clients at your desk or in your office, consider the positive feelings that chocolate brown walls can evoke. This color presents a reassuring atmosphere of security and credibility.
If you've been shopping recently, you may have already noticed merchandise areas that are now dedicated to orange and black color schemes. Decorations, racks of fanciful costumes and bins of sugary candy are displayed for all to see. Not only do Americans love to welcome fall, but we also love to celebrate Halloween. In fact, each year we spend more and more on this fun holiday. In 2011, 70 percent of the shoppers in the United States spent more than $7 billion preparing for the festivities, and a significant portion of that amount went to purchasing traditional orange and black decorations.
Orange is the color of pumpkins, bonfires, candles and changing leaves, and it dominates this holiday. When Irish immigrants first introduced Halloween, they used potatoes and turnips. Americans, however, quickly switched to bigger fruit to carve and decorate. A plump pumpkin makes the perfect jack-o-lantern. Orange is recognized as a color of strength and endurance. It reflects both the hard work of the fall harvest and the beauty of nature’s fall décor.
Orange is also a great year-round decorating color. Like red, it is an instant, energizing attention-grabber, but it is friendlier and less aggressive than red. A peachy orange actually has a calming effect, and brownish orange presents a warm, earthy glow. Red-orange feels modern and sleek. It is a perfect offset for graphics and geometric patterns, chrome and leather furniture, and clean white walls. Add some yellow to orange, and it instantly becomes more rustic. Traditional or dark country furnishings are an excellent accompaniment.
For those who love to scrapbook, just about any season or any occasion is enough reason to do another photo book, and autumn is no exception. In fact, fall scrapbook shades offer some of the most interesting, vibrant colors to use as backgrounds and accessories for each memorable page. Think of lush red apples and the paper colors “Red Devil” and “Kisses” can bring your photo shoot to life. How about giant orange pumpkins nestled against bales of golden yellow straw? Even the rich taupe of “Carob” paper reminds one of overturned earth and country lanes.
There are several color methods for creating a unified fall scrapbook that will unfold its charming story from beginning to the very last page:
1. Consider the event. Autumn includes both Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations. While orange and black own the former, the ruby reds, yellows, earthy browns, and deep greens of nature’s bountiful harvest are easy to capture in the latter. If a special birthday or anniversary is cause for commemoration, try matching your colors to the color scheme at the party, which should show up in many of the photos.
This year, the months of September, October and November will play host to almost one third of all the weddings held in 2014. Why the increase? It’s true that these months are generally freer from extreme temperatures and in many places, off-season rates are available, but one of the main attractions is the wonderful variety of fall wedding colors. As nature puts on her own annual fashion show, brides are realizing how easy it is to incorporate those same shades into a stunning wedding event.
For 2014, the top favorite fall wedding color is “Merlot,” a deep, romantic cranberry that works well with a variety of color combinations. For example, pair Merlot with Indigo Blue and a neutral white, gray or ivory for a powerful, sophisticated color experience. Team this same rich shade with an equally luxurious gold and complements of other warm, fall colors for a truly autumnal event. Turn up the romance with a delicate palette of Merlot, Blush (grayed-pink) and Ivory. Add some Victorian lace and soft lighting, and your fall wedding colors will be the perfect backdrop for this special occasion.
That same Merlot becomes elegant and sophisticated when contrasted with traditional wedding white or heirloom ivory. Delicate ribbons of Merlot can decorate the cake, tie napkins and place holders, or weave their way through green archways. Choose white calla lilies for the bridal bouquet and deep red flowers for the bridesmaids. Red votive candles will add a romantic touch, especially as they cast their rosy glow at evening receptions.
It’s back-to-school time, and putting together the right fall fashion statement is just as important for most students as it is for the rest of us. Your teen will probably have very definite ideas about what is “cool” to wear and what is not. Although high school trends are less dictated by the runway selections of last spring, they are still clearly identifiable. Fall 2014 will be about a “cozy and relaxed” approach to school colors and styles.
Expect to see purple in many shades including its cousins: purple-black, wine, violet and deep plum. Teen girls will be painting their nails, lining their eyes, and buying t-shirts, jeans and short skirts in these rich colors. Look for graphic plaids and dark floral patterns too, accompanied by lace, reworked denim and leather.
As a throw-back to the 90’s, a vintage floral dress with leather knee-high boots and a bulky cardigan is a great back-to-school ensemble. Turtlenecks are also making a comeback this fall. Taupe, silver, gray and dark teal will be popular colors. There’s even a place for Taylor Swift’s warm mustard yellow short skirt or pants. Plaids will be everywhere and not just standing alone. Find them matched to dark, graphic patterns and layered with contrasting plaids as well. Blanket coats will be a hit in plaid colors. Forever 21 offers a red and navy Plaid Peter Pan Collar Dress that would get an A in any classroom.