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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Color Folio 2008: A Field Guide To Color

Wear-Dated has just released Color Folio 2008, A Field Guide to Color. It is inspired by John J. Audubon's work.

Ann Hurley, our Wear-Dated and Ultron carpet fiber color expert, shares the following information relating to A Field Guide to Color.

When it comes to color, it is the interplay and relationship that is most interesting and inspiring. As we studied trends and selected colors for our 2008 forecast, we were drawn to the historical work of John J. Audubon. We were inspired by his paintings and discovered how relevant the beautiful color combinations of Audubon’s birds were for our forecast, and for the way in which we apply color to interior spaces today.

Sensitively and intimately in concert with nature, no other artist of his time or since has recorded birds in their natural habitats as animated, and in such a likeness of scale. Audubon produced more than 450 plates of these beautiful creatures. For many, in his time, Audubon’s paintings were the first glimpse of the wild. One French art critic recalled his works and said they brought to Europe a fresh poetic vision of America in all its wild abundance!

Nature offers a spectacular vision of color with countless nuances and shades of every hue. This Audubon inspired vision of nature with its intriguing color combinations is relevant today. It inspires our palette for 2008, a bit more conservative and slightly more complex, perhaps; an influence of nature, absolutely.

The Reds:
+ Red continues to reflect the influence of yellow. Consider Elderberry.

+ Orange, as reflected in Flicker or Mesa, gains in popularity for another 1 to 2 years.

+ Blue-reds, like Aubergine, will be more plum influenced with undertones of brown.

+ Reds are frequently used to create a dramatic color statement and used in analogous combinations such as red, pink and orange that are reminiscent of the ‘60s.

+ The red family will be greatly influenced by the upcoming Beijing Olympics and global trends from India and Central America.

The Blues:
+ Blue, the new “color of the Millennium,” reinforces the automotive forecast stating that the blue family would gain significant influence by the late 2000s.

+ Blues are moving in two parallel - yet divergent - directions, both yellow cast [Calypso] and violet influenced [Plumage]. These directions create a sense of calm, security and long term appeal.

The Greens:
+ The new greens - clearer & mid-to-lighter in value - continue to be yellowed [think Rolling Hills or Foliage] or blue, spa-like [Coastal]. Darker values are more complex with olive and bronze influences [e.g., River Grass]. With widespread design sensitivity and consumer environmental awareness, the green family is now widely accepted as a new neutral.

The Neutrals:
+ Beiges are either tinted with green, blue, or peach [or with Dogwood, Skyline or Mimosa].

+ Greys move lighter and warmer [think Cumulus or Gossamer].

+ The new neutrals are highly tinted and burnished, with undertones of steel, bronze and warm terra cotta.

+ They express an atmosphere of relaxation when used in combination of light & deep values. Textural quality and contrasting combinations of cool and warm colors matter. Neutrals mix well in combination with each other, creating a sophisticated environment.

A Field Guide To Color also studies the culture of color. One color may have multiple associations depending on its use in a particular country and culture. As an example, white is a symbol of purity and innocence in the U.S., and of mourning in some African countries. Each color family is examined for cultural associations enriching the specifier’s understanding of color application in today’s diverse business environment. We detail those separately in The Carpetology Blog in Red Around The World, Green Around The World, White Around The World, Blue Around The World, Yellow Around The World [added 7/22/08] and Black Around The World [added 9/12/08].

We've also developed a 2008 Color Folio Resource List if you'd like to learn more about John J. Audubon.

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