Color Icon: Dorothy Draper

If there was ever a time for a Dorothy Draper, 1889-1969,  revival its right now. This is a women who advocated for every one to be their own designers, for everyone to feel liberated to be creative with their own home, to have adventurous passions and try new things. This is a designer who started small and close to home, redesigning her own home. That simple choice led to friends and relatives recommending she try professional design and when she did, a status quo smashing career resulted.

Dorothy was a clear break from the Victorian sometimes dark and heavily draped interiors. She abandoned the constraints of minimalism, a design trope wrongly dubbed masculine, and her style became known as the modern baroque, a maximalist revery in bright color and bold pattern held together with the classic lines and shapes of traditional luxury.

She made sure her design was multifaceted. The over all design must not only be functional for the people living in the home or working in the office being redesigned but the space needs to comfort and invigorate them, soothe them after a long day and welcome them home from a trip. She made homes important, not the second class citizens of architecture, before branching out and encompassing hotels, restaurants, theaters, and department stores.

But her career wasn’t just about subverting the design tradition that came before her.  She lit the first sparks of todays DIY ethos. Even back in 1939 when her book Designing is Fun! was first published Dorothy saw interior design, a diverse field sometimes denigrated to lesser importance by those who had built a gendered binary between the supposed masculinity of architecture and the supposed femininity of interior design.   Her writing encouraged people, not just women, to take pride and interest in the designs of their homes and gave them tools to design their own homes to their own tastes. That doesn’t sound all that revolutionary in a time full of blogs about how to make your home just the way you want it, but in the 30’s it really was a brand new idea.

In fact, for shepherding and expanding this idea in our culture, we nominate Dorothy as the one of the design worlds color icons! Check out Dorothy’s book In The Pink here!

Color Combinations: A site for Color Nerds.

Color Combinations
If you’ve been on the internet lately you see an abundance of color.  With striking imagery everywhere,  presenting feeds of richly colored Instagram images, endless HD videos, and tumblr gif collages, social networks are packed with color.  What resources can a color nerd to go to remix and share all that color: Color Combinations!
Color Combinations is part Wikipedia, with great search and clear organization, part content ranking  like Instagram  and devoted to color! The site, which was “built to help web developers quickly select and test web design colour combinations,”  has an endless array of sample palettes.  It is  a resource when in need  of color inspiration for anything from website to wedding.  You can also participate! Color Nerds Unite!
You can create color combinations using the sites tool and send combinations  out for the whole site to see. This format lets individuals practice thinking about color, and provides instant feedback from the  user group. Designers can test combos for their sites and bloggers can research the home page to see what is trending. 
Maybe sharing palettes isn’t for you. You’d rather to look up a group of colors that would  fall generally under “amethyst.” Color Combinations has colors grouped by hashtag, the same way all the #selfies are linked on Instagram.
The most popular palettes float to the top, essentially forecasting current opinions on color by the sites users. And with more and more color enthusiasts out there, artists, designers, architects, crafters,  are creating a large pool of color data preferences. Even if you’re not inclined to make and share your own color palettes the trending colors on the front page give you an ability to track trends. Is the start of autumn (in the US) causing this spike in the rusted oranges to make the front page?
We do not promote selecting colors merely based on trend, but it is interesting to watch the collective unconscious of users start to reveal the trends.  This site can validate the traditional vehicles for color forecasting like CMG and the International Color Authority by opening up the audience to more than members only of their organizations.. 
The varied functionality and fantastic color tools of the library make this site a must for  color lovers.  Want to make a sweater with the colors from you favorite palette? What to quickly mashup colors on screen and play with combinations? What to think about color? Than Color Combinations is for you.