In Praise of the Blue Family. A Few Curated Picks

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of color. I lean on color in design work (see my branding for the Creative Somerville Series) and I recently posted on instragram about just how happy I am to be an architect (and a grown up) who doesn’t wear all black. Color’s also a great tool to use especially when resources are tight.

Before I continue, I’ve got to say it, lest anyone let their unbridled love of bright colors get the best of them–when you use color you’ve got to curate strongly–whether that’s keeping the color palette constrained or having a careful hierarchy in composition.

Too many priorities means no priorities, and that applies in graphic design as much as anywhere else.

So lately I’ve been loving blues. I have tended to have a yellow, magenta, teal thing going on, but I did a design inspiration search for a diagram I was working on and found myself being all about the blues. And then I looked down and realized that I was wearing them too. So here’s a few curated picks that I come across and loved, with some thoughts on how to use this color family well.

(All photos from others linked to their source pages.)

1. Blues pair well with crisp white linework.

There’s something about contrast been the richness of the water tone and the thin white methodical grid and annotation that works really well.

2. Different blues pair well when the composition is simple.

Lately I’ve been loving work by photographer Gray Malin who often captures beach scenes. He’s great a photographing bright primary colors and strong compositions, and the sunny warmth of the beach lighting sets the perfect mood.

DixonBaxi Retrospective

3. Blues pair well with warm grays and textured backgrounds.

There’s something about the coolness of blue that is set off by the warmth of these images, and their texture–whether from overlap of semi-opaque images or through texture and implied shadow create a richness that counters the cool blue.

I’m a huge fan of mixing vivid blues with grays and blacks and whites and that’s been my style lately.

Things come in waves I guess. I’m enjoying the ride.


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Creative Somerville Colin Davis Something GUD-02
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