Tag Archives: Colour

Abstract cities continued

What was I doing?  These collages are made up of the 2 photos, colour palette(s) and design for each city.

Madrid > aim of this one was to pick out the rich ochre colours from the buildings and zing it up with an acid yellow sun, aiming to convey warmth and vibrancy etc etc.  The inset photo of the girls and the metro didn’t really convey this image, but the colours are in there!  Needs a bit of re-arranging in the frame.

Malmo > this is based on the photo of the woman on the bike which conveys Scandinavia (to me) but looked for a more specific photo too – used the painted houses to complete the palette, and abstracted them as the stripes in the final design.

Managua > looked for a busy bus station photo and a contrasting chilling in the sun one.  The colours don’t balance too well and the cerise pink is wrong – need juggling a bit? more contrast? start again?  Should have just used the bus station I think.

Manchester > a street scene in the rain with a red hoody highlight, or a cafe scene through a window.  Decided to use the latter, and not attempt to roll them into one this time.  Abstracted the scene, quite like the coffee table with the mug.  Is this the right sort of image for this sort of guidebook – what sort of guidebook is it???

Manhattan > this is street scenes, love this photo of the dancers, which makes the place look alive, so tried to recreate that on the design, particularly the sharpness of the red dress.

Marrakech > this is too dusty and all out of balance – think need to look at the accent colours more – ie the sleeves of both men and those gums.  The text shouldn’t sit at the back either.

Marseille > people chilling, 2 contrasting sides to the city.  The colours of the 2 photos are quite different, so just used the fresher cafe scene.  Not enough contrast though, and the other photo/palette  is more vibrant – would convey a different feel to the place.

Melbourne > two completely different photos and some interesting expressions – pulled out some of the common colours, and managed to produce an ice-cream.  The red highlight is meant to disguise that.  I think the text and the balancing block of pink colour work here, they didn’t in Marrakech.

Montreal > a building with washing, and a street scene highlighting the Montreal Jazz festival.  I’ve taken the colours from the clothes and the pattern from the washing.  I have no mental picture of Montreal, so would need to do some more research, I’ve no idea if this would work or not.

Mumbai > I’ve used the heavy contrast of the dark clothes, silhouettes, and dusty buildings, and contrasted them with the bright flashes of colour on the cart, and the clothes of the woman in the top photo.  I think this one works best.

Photo references:

Abstract cities exercise

city wordsThe task: 10 abstract designs balancing blocks of subordinate, dominant and accent colours, for (A5 landscape) guidebook covers, for cities beginning with M.

My approach –  I did a half-hour Flickr search, looking for 2 photos for each city.  I was looking for street or cafe scenes, and trying to avoid buildings and iconic landmarks. I used the photos to build colour palettes.  I also used the photos as a base for the block designs.  Sometimes the two photos produced similar palettes, sometimes they didn’t – in which case I had to make a choice to go with one photo/palette and not the other (ie. Manchester).

Producing designs – I used Gimp to produce the designs, which included the text, and imported them into Scribus to create the final files which can be exported to size as A5 pdfs, and as jpgs for demo purposes (used here). This was quicker than building the designs in the dtp package, mainly because the colour tools in Scribus aren’t very good for this purpose. Also, there isn’t any text involved beyond the title, so you don’t need the dtp package for that. (However, note that text in these (reduced down) jpg images below is degraded, only works at actual size.) Also… suspect it’s not a very good dtp package, mental note to compare with the Adobe product…

The designs

Madrid bookcover

Malmo bookcover

Managua bookcover

Manchester bookcover

Manhattan bookcover

Marrakech bookcover

Marseille bookcover

Melbourne bookcover

Montreal bookcover

Mumbai bookcover

Comment – this exercise worked better than I thought it was going to.  The results need some more work, but the method worked.  Also, I’m speeding up.  Comments on the actual designs in the next post…

Martin Parr sample

Martin Parr sample
Colour and visual dynamics.  just looking at a post from Martin Parr’s blog ‘Black country stories’ > particularly these 3 photos, in this context.  Noted that in the 1st picture, the neutral wall/floor contrasts strongly with the black hair and the black clothing of the woman-2nd-from-the-left.  The feature colours are the rich pink, orange and red analagous colours.  The 2nd picture uses strong complementary orange and blues, and contrast between the dark and light blues.  The 3rd picture is a patchwork of neutral colours, with the tree and the horse balancing each other, and again using analagous red, violet, blue as the highlight colours to lift the picture.  Also looked at this post ‘Modern Fashion Warfare’, in the same context, particularly the last 2 pictures, which follow a similar pattern.

Ref: Martin Parr

Colour word associations

colours and words
Hmmmn… not quite sure about this.  I’m posting it about a month after I did it, and some of them definitely don’t work: precious, extraspecial, sociable, gregarious, luxurious, tasteful… Remember trying to avoid obvious connections with some of them, but need better use of shades, contrast and opacity (or lack of it…).