Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cautious about Colour; How to Get Brave

Despite my orange glasses, and a rather passionate love for Noro, I would have to describe myself as being cautious about colour. In my clothes, I rarely mix colours. It's not that I'm entirely monochrome - I have lots of colourful dresses - but when pushed to put colours together myself, I always opt for simplicity: black or white with a single contrasting colour. And yes, in my world, denim is a colour. Sometimes I'll branch out and wear black and white and a colour, but that's only for brave days.

This is actually one of the reasons I feel confident enough to wear bright orange classes - I know that they will go with whatever I'm wearing.

The problem is not that I don't like colour: I have a purple couch, and a lime green bathroom and a red bedroom. One colour is fine; my caution is about putting them together. It's a problem of overanalysis. I can never decide if a particular shade of blue goes with a particular shade of green, or if that purple is working with or against the yellow, or if the red is too orange or too blue to go with my often red hair. So I make it very very simple on myself.

Although it might seem boring, this strategy has its upsides - everything matches in my wardrobe!

But I know damn well this is why I love Noro - because someone else has made the colour decisions for me. I'm not shy about mixing colourways of Noro - witness my Lizard Ridge,



and the Vass Variation sweater.



And this caution extends to designing - I'll cheerfully let someone else choose the colours for me, but if it's up to me, I'm cautious.

I think I might have found a solution to the problem... for $7, on the remainder pile at one of our local indie bookshops, I found this:



It's genius. It's just pages and pages of different designs shown with different colour combinations in different arrangements.

Click to enlarge the photos to see what I mean.





This tool not only gives me some ideas about how to put colours together, but also how they look weighted differently against each other.

Much fun and inspiration.

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

That looks cool!

It reminds me of this online tool you might not have seen: http://labs.ideeinc.com/multicolr

It only gives you 120 shades to play with, and I'm not sure how useful it is, but it's fun!