Stop Misusing Color

Stop Misusing Color

October 17, 2013

Color is not to be misused. It demands attention, sets the tone and evokes emotion. Yet, many of us misuse color.

Well, stop it!

Stop thinking color has to be this or color needs to go here or there or represent this and that. The question is, can you make the color work? Does the color represent the look and feel you’re trying to achieve? Does the color represent your message?

Color is best when it follows your first instinct. Unless you have bad instincts, always go with your first reaction. Disclaimer—if you make bad decisions and have poor instincts, it is advised that you work with someone who does not!

Why?

Color should be carefully chosen, but it should not be overanalyzed. Color is color. It either works or it doesn’t. It’s kind of like a hair cut. If you get a bad haircut, maybe it’s bad because you don’t look good with bangs or your new hair color is too dark for your skin tone. Either way, it’s not bad because of just your hair in general.

If it doesn’t work, ask yourself why. What patterns, textures or colors are you paring with your primary color selection? Maybe that’s the problem.

Everyone, and I mean everyone from clients to friends to teachers to pet owners are obsessed with color, and not in a good way. Stop thinking people and start feeling!

If a color looks bad, it looks bad. Go change it to something that doesn’t. Furthermore, if you’re making the change then stop looking at those around you. Whether you’re simply picking out socks or rebranding a company, don’t spend too much time obsessing about everyone else. Color should represent you, your wardrobe, your company, or your client.

Clouding your head with what everyone else is doing will only cloud your ability to make an instinctual, rational decision. Overanalyzing leads to poor decision making. Why? Because you end up making a decision based on what you think you should do, not what you actually want to do.

Don’t be afraid to be daring or bold. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to be the opposite.

Color is fun. Color can be whatever you want it to be. But please, don’t choose a boring color simply because you think it should be boring. If that’s your thought then definitely go with the opposite—go fun.

Who says you need beige walls in your kitchen or living room? Then again, a monochromatic beige color scheme is quite lovely. How do you create a fresh look when using “quiet” colors? Pick an interesting font, choose to letterpress your design instead of print digital, or add some interesting [beige and white] textures to that room of yours.

Sarah Jane Dunaway