The Fourth Wall

10.9.08 A Palette for the Season

Sometimes color enters my life in waves; the colors of the natural and manmade environments, colors I’m wearing, and the colors that work their way into designfarm’s projects. It’s fall here in the Mid-Atlantic region and although our trees and gardens still show lots of green, the olivine shades feel older — perhaps more sophisticated — than the saturated new-birth greens of spring. Leaves are turning orange, red, and yellow. The sunlight is warm and really does (despite the seemingly trite nature of this sentiment) cast a golden glow. Gray shadows are long, the sky is clear and blue.

The brochure above (3-panels pictured flat), designed for Friends of the Library, Montgomery County unconsciously brought just these colors into a print context.

A pair of earrings I designed for a client’s fall wedding a year ago reflect the same delicious tones.

A new logo for VisArts was presented in gray + yellow/green. Other solutions featured gray + orange. The client chose orange as the second color. Which do you respond to?

My favorite addition to a more obvious fall palette are certain shades of blue. Offering, like the sky at this time of year, a crisp counterpoint to all of that lush warmth. Earrings above purchased last weekend.

All of these colors — blue, gray, orange, yellow — came together in the branding for an exhibit at The Phillips Collection. Watch the DC Metro for the diorama pictured above.

This time of year always finds me knitting. It’s probably a nesting urge, but also satisfies my ever-present need to have busy hands that are making things. Most of the yarn I use is handspun; sometimes using wool collected from the artisan’s own sheep. I love watching the colors interact and since my skills don’t go much beyond easy-peasy scarves, I favor fussy, textural yarns with lots of thicks and thins. This skein, purchased from Folktale Fibers, came with pom-poms attached.

What’s your palette this season? Once you start noticing, it will suddenly appear everywhere you look.

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