Friday, February 22, 2013

The Circle of Design

I recently completed the redesign of Boston University's, The BU Buzz — their online student magazine. This job resonated with me more than others because I was working with one of my former students, Leora Yashari who is the fearless Editor-in-Chief. I found myself reflecting upon the impact that out giving, our words, and our actions have on others. When you teach, your students are dandelion seeds taking flight, landing and blooming but a little bit of you goes with each of them.

Leora is no longer my student and yet we can start a new dialog because of the language of design. Design is constant with changing variables. Maybe once it would have been a print conversation and now it is a web conversation but good design is still at the center. The desire to create beauty, symmetry and effective communication spans all generations.

The process of putting this magazine together and watching my former student apply the things I had taught her in a real world setting was gratifying. So please visit this site and see the energy and creativity these dynamic editors are bringing to the web!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Think Pink!

Pink is everywhere this week with Valentine's Day right around the corner. This color has been gradually been creeping into my work more and more. It used to be a muted yellow green, then a rich eggplant, which gave way to a vibrant orange. But lately it is pink, pink and more pink! Since pink seems to be dominating my design vocabulary I felt it warranted a closer look.

The famous fashion designer Elsa Shiaparelli created a shade of hot pink/magenta that made her famous in the 50s. Inspired by the color of a Cartier diamond, she said it was, "bright, impossible, impudent, becoming, life-giving, like all the light and the birds and the fish in the world but together, a color of China and Peru but not of the West - a shocking color, pure and undiluted." And the color "Shiaparelli Pink" was born.

Others in fashion has been fascinated with the color pink. Diana Vreeland, iconic editor of Vogue magazine, once proclaimed, ""Pink is the navy blue of India." The fictionalized version of Vreeland, portrayed by Kay Thompson in the movie "Funny Face" sang, "Think Pink!"

There are many shades of pink:   
Blush,  Rose Pink,  Salmon Pink,  Orchid,  Fuchsia,  Hot Pink.
All of them are some combination of red and white. If you examine the psychology of color, then pink is generally the sweeter, slightly more innocent sister of red. 

Pink represents hop… look at the use of pink for the ribbon logo to fight breast cancer, or the "silence = death" AIDS campaign logo. Pink represents girlishness, femininity and innocence. Pink is happiness and love. Red is passion and lust. Pink is youthful and Red is pink all grown up.

But pink has it's moments of sophistication. Pair it with black and suddenly it is very chic. Pairing it with a darker color makes it assertive and confident, yet elegant and subtly sweet.

Pink can be emotional and immature but at the same time it is utterly the color of romance! Therefore Pink is the perfect color to represent the sometimes fickle, sometimes challenging but ultimately unforgettable concept of romantic love.

Happy Valentine's Day!