Friday, September 17, 2010

Designing with the Rainbow

Lately, I've been craving so much color and design and keep scrolling through my Google Reader at lightning speed to see what will grab my attention. Maybe it's because the thought of the gray skies ahead is making me want to fiercely hold on to the sunshine. Or perhaps I'm secretly looking forward to the changing leaves of fall...

You know what I loved best about going back to school? Back-to-school shopping for cute pens and notebooks. If I were heading back to class this year, I'd have to get my hands on these Pantome Ruled Notebooks. And if I had an office to get to each day, I'd switch out my boring, plain white Rolodex for this vibrant alternative.

Speaking of offices, Dutch architecture firm Hofman Dujardin designed this colorful space for the DLA Piper office. They used the sun's path and the building's orientation to color code and balance each area depending on how much sunlight that spot receives. Warmer spaces were dressed in cool colors while areas that don't get much sunlight were decked out in oranges, reds and yellows.

Don't sleep on the Dutch when it comes to creative design. This information desk at the Delft University of Technology's architecture library is made out of recycled books. When I first came across TU Delft, the name instantly rang a bell. I'd chosen it's striking main library as my final architecture project six years ago. Talk about flashback.

The Stamberg Aferiat House might look wonky and overly playful, but imagine waking up in this room every morning. I'd probably feel less grumpy at the start of each day...or get a headache from the color explosion. Inspired by Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion, the architects pulled from the landscape for a palette that would reflect and respond to light. "Every color in the house exists in the surrounding tree leaves in the fall," says Peter Stamberg in October's issue of Architectural Digest. Nice element, but what will it look like in the winter?

ColourLovers recently conducted a study on the colors of top web brands to see where their logos stood in the spectrum. Turns out a huge portion of them gravitate towards my favorite, blue, with red coming in second. It's also interesting to note that popular brands within similar categories tend to stick to the same color palette. Case in point: Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. By the way, did you know that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg chose blue for his site because he's red-green color blind? Apparently it's the richest color he can see.

Jessica Hische, the drop cap queen, has designed a custom set of dock icons for her new iMac. And bless her heart, she's not stingy with her work. Download your own set here for free.

Check out the making-of-the-cover for Anthology's premiere issue. I love learning about the design process behind magazine covers and features and often miss those meetings we'd have at Latina to weigh in on the perfect photo.
I just learned about and then quickly bought some Japanese washi tape. Let me tell you, I'm in love. I've been using these colorful masking tapes for all sorts of things. They tear easily, are translucent so they layer very nicely and are easy to remove without leaving behind any damage. I'm now craving them in all sorts of patterns.

A rainbow party sounds absolutely brilliant (literally)! I still want to master the art of the rainbow layer cake, but first I must shed my fear of too much food coloring...

Brandi just posted this fantastical image along with a call to set time aside for imagination and big dreams this weekend. And with that, I hope you all have a happy and inspired one :)

Images:,,,,,,,,, and


  1. The rainbow cake looks like fun. Maybe that would help brighten up the gray winter skies!

  2. Beautiful, all of it! I especially love the desk made out of books.

  3. I did make the rainbow cake and I invite youn to view my blog:


  4. darlene, I agree completely!

    janet, I've been wondering if I could make a smaller version for a coffee table.

    bridget, it came out so well! Kudos to you for attempting it. I bet your daughter loved every piece of it.

  5. After dis post, how could the gayz not fall in less-than-three wiff you?! I want mah entire future [read as: non-existent, quit dreaming Josh] house to be made outta old bookz!

  6. I've made the rainbow cake too! Not as professional looking as that one but pretty darn tasty!

  7. Are those Japanese tape really really that good? I have read so much about it.

  8. I'm glad I'm not color blind!

    (or am I? how would you ever know?)

    That library is bright, you would need some sunglasses to read the books.


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