A lot has been said, and will be said, about color. Where does it come from, why is it important to us, what are its meanings, etc.? One thing is for sure; it’s very personal. There is a very different thought about color depending on whether you’re “appreciating” it or “loving” it!
We “appreciate” so much from day to day. In art, it’s the sense of scale, pattern, subject, color use, mood or relativity to the times. Much the same goes for design and architecture. Color plays a major role in design decisions. (Even the apparent absence of color makes a statement of its own!)
At any given time we can appreciate fine design; a building’s scale or a space’s dynamics, the way you move about them, how your eye is drawn through them. All of the technical and theoretical things that make it work; especially colors.
But do you love it? That’s a different and very special journey. Many is the time when I’ve been in the same space as other designers and heard, “That’s nice.” It’s not meant with any malice; just ennui. They understand and appreciate what they see, it just doesn’t move them.
And then you hear someone exclaim, “I love this color!” All ears perk up and everyone is on the hunt. What did they see? Why is it special to them? What does it mean? Ahhh, the old questions come flooding back. But one question rarely goes asked.
“When did they know?”
When did a color create so much passion to cause someone to proclaim their love for it? And it never leaves. It stays with you all of your life. Oh, you may change your favorite once in a while. Your mood may initiate a dalliance with something new. But deep inside, you always have the one. I have a passion for all colors but know the one that will always make me happy.
When did I know? I was not quite two years old and there were stacks of painted 55 gallon drums at the Navy Yards in Washington DC. Whenever my family drove past them I insisted on stopping so I could see all the colors. At that moment, color was my life.
The passion repeated later when I got a set of colored pencils from Europe and then that box of 64 crayons; the one with the built in sharpener, which, by the way, I still have. So many colors from which to choose! So much joy!
This blog entry isn’t so much about painted drums or crayons. It’s about your moment of passion. I’ve revealed more than you likely want to know so I’ll keep my special color to myself. But I know you have your own passion about color, and likely a favorite. So I’ll sign off with a question to you.