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  • Jake Griffiths


Colour is in equal parts an absolute minefield to get right and yet a powerful tool that should be used sparingly within a designers arsenal, or so we think.

The problem with colour is simple, it's bloody difficult to get right. Professionals and hobbyists alike will confess this as it's so dominant within a space that in can very much make or break it. Colours also go through trends that look outdated as soon as you've opened the paint lid. Colour, as in the whole of design, is somewhat subjective (even that statement is considered subjective amongst design peers).

The trend with colour over the past 10 years or so is to play it safe. Designers were somewhat thankful for the whole Industrial design scene as it meant neutrals would compliment this style neutrals are easy, right? The avant-garde designers of this age have recently and rightly got sick of trying to colour match blackened mild steel and decided to rebel against this trend and go full circle taking inspiration from the bright and bold modernist pop influences of the Memphis Group. This movement was something I've always been fascinated by as it was very out there and pushing the conventions of the norm of what we believe are to be acceptable patterns, shapes and colours on everyday objects. Who wants to be normal, normal is beige.

"It's like you've been programmed as a designer to question colour..."

The problem with colour is that it's just so bloody hard to commit to. Let me throw out a scenario to all you designers out there and I'm calling bull**** if you haven't done this before. You're doing a drawing pack, it's been detailed beautifully, you leave the annotations to last and those fateful words of 'Farrow & Ball: TBC' appear typed on the screen as if by magic. It's like you've been programmed as a designer to question colour, full well knowing down the line in 6-8 weeks when the contractor calls you up on site saying there isn't a Farrow & Ball colour called TBC you have to panic pick there and then. I swear to whatever God you believe in, if Farrow & Ball did actually create a colour called TBC, let's say in an electric pink, we'd all be f*****!

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