Color Coded

A few posts back we talked about color carrying information from planets outside our solar system. The colors were a visual indicator of the chemistry on the planets surface and whether or not life as we know it could exist in that environment. Color is used in a myriad of situations to communicate information.

Hospital way finding example via Design Center

Take the  example of using colored stripes on the floor or wall to lead people through buildings. Many institutions like hospitals, airports and large office environments can get people turned around very easily. Does the upward pointing arrow mean straight  as in forward or back the way you came ? Color is an effective method of solving architectural way finding problems.

Visitors may be illiterate or speak a language not covered by the hospitals signage but they can still follow a colored line. Go to the orange door is an easier mental task than 5th door on your left.  Frequently  the situations that bring you to large unfamiliar  institutional settings is stressful.  This compounds the task of determining if you are  getting  off  the elevator on the right floor or finding the right department.

A fun twist on way finding at Revolution Salon via Inthralled

Before we file this great architectural color application  under function only take a look at this creative salon in Mexico City. Even though the space is small and the doors could easily be numbered, a more  inventive approach was used. Each of the private rooms has its own color theme. Clients commonly request their favorite vibe. The receptionist then instructs the client to follow the corresponding color on the floor. Instead of  the straight  or parallel lines we find in more utilitarian settings, these colors meander. They accentuate the geometric repetition in the architecture of the space. Form and function are fused.

– Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
– Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio

Cutting Edge & Bigger than Life

Undersea decals by Inaninstantart

Adding color, texture and imagery helps us personalize our spaces. It can make a standard room feel like our own personalized lair.   It  can make an anonymous space feel comfortable. Composing wall colors is a huge part of that process but  paint isn’t our only option. New technology gives us state of the art  options.

The recent proliferation of laser cutters has opened the market for vinyl decals. Designers draw the patterns using vector programs. Then the decals are produced using a laser to cut the patterns out of vinyl sheets.

Tentacle decal by Pillboxdesigns

These colorful accents are a great option for renters or  color commitment-phobes. Because the vinyl sticks to the wall using static electricity instead of adhesive they can be removed without damaging the wall. They are also great because buying them supports small design shops. The vinyl comes in an amazing varity of colors.

Vinyl colors by Pillboxdesigns

Are you a bit more adventurous but the thought of painting your own mural is daunting? You can move up to custom wallpaper murals. While more expensive, a variety of large format printing shops make custom murals to fit your chosen wall. Large format printers are very similar to home printers but they can print up to 100 inches wide and can accommodate special papers like wallpaper.

Wallpaper mural via Epiplo Aris

Wallpaper murals are much harder to install and to remove but they pack a visual wallop. The example above is  ‘Lady from the Orient ‘ by Vladimir Tretchikoff.  These beautiful murals  can enhance  neutral minimally  colored  spaces and lend an air of sophistication and scale to living.   They can take “accent wall” to a new level.

In contrast, children’s murals, can add color and imagery to spark the imagination.

A half sized wall mural via Eglue

Will you consider using laser cut vinyl decals or wallpaper murals to spice up  your environment ?

– Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
– Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio