Picking Luscious Colors, Take 1

Popsicles As I was making yesterday’s Ten for Ten to-do list, I didn’t pay too much attention to the colors. They print pretty horribly, and I have to go back and adjust them. There is a larger context, though: I’d like to define some nice branding colors as I start to create new packages of nifty stuff for sale. I’m leaning toward candy metaphors because, well, I like shiny candy bits, and a good piece of stationery kit should evoke that feeling when you see it.

The above image is a color study montage I took of some “freeze-at-home” popsicles. I got a huge box of them for $4.99 at CostCo, and have been subsisting on them when stuck at the home office taking care of the various project emergencies that find me. I like artificial food colors because they’re engineered to look as tasty as possible, and this seemed to be a good jumping-off point.

I do like the orange, the blue, and the green, probably because I’ve used colors like that before. I think I would like at least 3 main colors and 4 secondary colors for a total of 7 distinct hues of the same tonal brightness. I should also make a set of 10 colors, but I’m not sure I can get 10 good distinct hues that I like, especially if I reserve the “Dave Seah trade colors” that have come to be. These colors are blue and orange, the same ones I use for all of my forms.

I’d like the Dave Seah Design packaging to convey optimism and yet also be measured. Optimism is how I see the world, with all its possibilities and opportunities for personal excellence. I find this delightful, wonderful, and fun. I also value quality and methodical approaches, and appreciate a good measuring stick when it’s crafted by artisan-engineer-scientist types. It’s an interesting contrast, which suggest that I use the bright colors for coding elements that are about the specific details, and then use a more subdued color palette for the structuring design elements and packaging materials. I would probably like to use natural materials as closely to their natural hues as possible, or use traditional dyes and colors from older processes; I tend to be rather obsessed about how well a material is used in a way that highlights its natural strengths and proclivities, much the way I like to see people grow! I like to think of making products are a kind of bridging or catalyzing element that brings one from a state of confusion into a happy candy-filled productive existence, with the additional assurance of good methodology and sound design thinking.