Color Matters Blog

Color is always doing something. Sometimes color screams out a message, sometimes it casts a subliminal spell. So, what's happening in the world of color today? Yesterday? Tomorrow? What are the facts, what are the myths?
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Liar, Liar, the Color Wheel is on Fire


Too-Many-Colors

Does the web provide an open door for "color experts" to dish out bad advice? Maybe in the dark days before the web, the color wheel was on fire but no one could see it. Whatever the case may be - and on the heels of last week’s Benjamin Moore report - there’s a new one.

The latest bad advice is based on the assumption that the "old rules" about how to use and combine colors are out the window. Here’s the exact quote from an interior design professional:

 

"This marvelous freedom is facilitated by people finding out this simple color truth: ‘The more colors you have the more colors work.' "

That couldn’t be further from the truth because the biggest mistake amateurs and professionals make is using too many colors. It’s a recipe for disaster unless you’re a very gifted color designer.

As is the case with music, there are formal principles about color harmony that have evolved over thousands of years. Breaking or bending a few rules can be exciting and refreshing. However, there is always an underlying logic in all innovative work.

Aside from art and design theories, here's a basic fact about how the brain works: If there's too much visual information, if there are too many colors, the brain can't organize it all. As is the case with other sensory input such as sounds, the brain becomes overloaded and shuts down.

To encourage people to toss the whole color wheel into a design is heresy - and even more so because this can result in very costly mistakes by homeowners who are spending a lot of time and money on design projects.

For more information, see Color Logic
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