Monday, August 4, 2008

Choosing the Right Colors

When I work with clients on color and color scheme, I often refer to my Pantone guide for inspiration. If you're wondering what a Pantone guide is, let me tell you. In simple terms, Pantone is a color system for selecting, specifying, and controlling color.

So, for instance, when I work with designers on invitations, I pick the ink color using my Pantone guide. From there, all additional color elements are selected and joined together. The color 'chips' can be removed and placed on concept boards for clients to visualize. This helps both designer and client know what the finished product will look like.

Unfortunately, Pantone guides are not cheap. They're kinda pricey, in fact. A wonderful and useful tool for anyone needing to talk 'printer language' but maybe not as accessible to the average individual. That's why I'd like to give you a few ideas to help inspire your color palette.

The first option to consider would be the purchase of a Benjamin Moore or Graham paint color fan deck. I have found mine to be so useful in color selection and I believe I paid under $15 each. Another option that's even cheaper would be a huge box of crayola crayons. I'm talking the 64 pack with the built-in sharpener! I think crayons come in such beautiful hues and these, too, could assist in the selection of a color palette.

Another fun and useful tool, the idea courtesty of my friend Jennifer at Modern Day Floral, is The Color Scheme Bible . I just ordered my copy on Amazon and can't wait for it to arrive!This beautiful book blends colors together in an inspirational way. So, if you're challenged in the area of color-pairings, this is the book for you! On each page is a 'base' color and 5 to 8 additional colors that work with the base color. Brilliant! Why didn't I think of writing and publishing that?! This book was meant to give decorators inspirational ideas for interior design but there's no reason that we can't use it to inspire event designs!

This book is a mere $20. And $20 well spent, I believe. CPA may disagree but hey, wouldn't be the first time he thought my purchases were 'unnecessary!' As long as it's under the guise of 'work expense' he's good because that means 'tax write-off.' Love that left brained, man :)

So, if you have trouble visualizing color pairings, this is the book for you! And even if you don't have trouble in this area, the combinations that they've developed will knock your socks off. Happy color pairing!