Thinking About Color in a New Way

As I continue in my journey learning and trying new techniques, and experimenting with new methods and materials, I find myself wanting to learn everything I can as quickly as I can.  It’s funny how things evolve.  When I first started making jewelry, I made things that pleased me.  Then I discovered that if I wanted to sell jewelry, I had to make things that pleased others.  For my own taste, I have never gotten caught up in “trends” or wearing what is considered the fashion of the moment. But many of my customers do, so if I want to be successful, it’s my job to bring those things to them.

My color journey started out with Pantone’s color forecasts.  Well before the selling season, Pantone publishes their color forecast for the upcoming season. These are often based on what designers are showing on the runway.  From an article on money.cnn.com, “Fashion designers, of course, play a key role in determining color trends, and the institute relies on their input. The semiannual Pantone fashion color report surveys 50 top designers about what colors they’ll be using for the upcoming season. The Pantone team takes the information and calculates the top 10 choices.”  These colors will be interpreted and used in fashions sold by retailers such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, JC Penney, and Target.  I can sell more jewelry if I am selling the items that will coordinate with what my customers are wearing!

 I quickly grew fascinated with color theory and design, and although I’m just getting started, I am already piecing together a lot of valuable information in my brain.  I wanted to share some great resources that I discovered-hopefully, you will find them interesting and informative too. Incidentally, this information is not only valuable for jewelry makers and designers.  You can  use  this information if you are decorating or redecorating your home, for example.

A great place to find beautiful color palettes is Design Seeds.  If  you are ever color challenged, this is a  great place to find inspiration.  Here, you’ll find color palettes extracted from nature.  You can search for color palettes based on colors or themes.  In addition to the blog, you  can also follow Design Seeds on Pinterest, Facebook, and twitter.

Another great source of color inspiration for me is Hilary Frye of Fryestyle.  Hilary is actually how I found Design Seeds, because she shared the links to the color palettes on Facebook.   You can also follow her on Pinterest-she has some great pinboards devoted to color.

Speaking of Pinterest, I also have a color board that may inspire you.  My board is not so much dedicated to color palettes, but I like to pick fashion elements in the season’s colors to inspire me and others to combine clothing and accesories for a beautiful color pop.

I frequently use my Ipod to further my design education, and I found a great color resource in the podcasts on Itunes.  The podcast features Margie Deeb, and listening to the podcast led me to find her resources on line.  She has a great blog, and has great books available on working with color, as well as resources that you can download.  Some, such as some of her patterns,  are free, but even the ones that I have purchased for download are very reasonably priced.

My most recent find is a free, online color palette extractor at Big Huge Labs.   This is just fine for me to get started with since it is free, but I can see myself eventually moving on from here.  Here’s an example of one of my photos of my bean harvest from my 2011 garden.

Such a beautiful soft color palette for Fall, and it’s fitting because that is when these beans were harvested.   I love natural color palettes-God has the best eye for design of all.

Feel free to comment and share any additional color resources that you have utilized-I’m always interested in more information and inspiration!

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9 Responses to Thinking About Color in a New Way

  1. Hilary says:

    Thank you, Terry, for including me in your article! I’m honored! Yes, understanding color is a big design advantage. It’s what draws the eye first!

  2. ioannistestblog says:

    Big Huge Labs is a great find. Thank you

    • pinkchapeau says:

      Yes, and I’m sure you saw , what I failed to mention in my post was all of the other free goodies that are available there. Highly recommended! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my post.

  3. Ellen Wodoslawsky Gonchar says:

    Wonderful blog and information in here Terry! Awesome job!

  4. Thanks for the links and the great blog post! To an artist/designer COLOR is everything, but sometimes we hit road blocks when it comes to combinations/matching and that’s where Pantone comes in. They are the best at color. Way back when, I purchased a shopping/color guide from them, it contains all their color swatches, that has come in really handy and is the best thing I ever purchased! I got it at http://www.FireMountainGems.com the absolute best place for jewelry supplies, by the way:-)))) Anywho thanks for the post Terry! Luv Ya

  5. pinkchapeau says:

    Thanks, Connie, I do not have that Pantone color guide….but I sure do buy from Fire Mountain 🙂 I’ll have to take a look and see if I can grab one! Hugs!!!

  6. deb says:

    Although Im not really selling jewelry yet I have also went to pantone to look at the color styles for the year. Then I ve also been buying paints to match.

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