A friend recently told me that, “In order to be a designer, you must learn to see the world differently.”
It’s easy to look at an object and think that it doesn’t look right or could look better, but taking it to the next step and thinking in detail how it could be improved is entirely different.
Tom Sachs sees the world differently. He recently released a video called “Color”. It explains his studio’s opinions on each color. I had never thought about color the way he explains it and I’ll never think about olive green or Mcdonald’s Yellow ever again.
A good designer analyzes everything about objects and understands that colors can tell a story in ways that no words can.
Tom Sachs says:
“Secret societies conspire to keep us in the dark ages of color.”
“We shun decision by committee instead we look to the superlative Porsche palette which remains beautiful despite the company’s Nazi heritage and douchbag clientele.”
“In Eastern cultures, white is the color of death. In Western cultures, white symbolizes innocence and purity.”
“Green is subdued for hiding.”
“Olive Drab #7 fits two of the Studio’s main criteria. It’s beautiful yet serves a function. In this case, hiding troops from the Nazis.”
“Yellow is meant to attract attention or stand out.”
“In it’s heyday, Kodak packaged film in yellow canisters, making them easy to see in a black camera bag.”
“Yellow is a subordinate alert color to red.”
“A touch of red goes a long way in sending a message. Dad is trying to kill us. The computer is working just fine. We’re going to put a man on the moon…and a car while we’re at it.”
“Too much red is tacky, overbearing or invasive. Please pull me over for speeding. The computer is totally fucked. These Nazis are going to turn our skin into lampshades.”
“This movie will at no time portray the color blue correctly.”
“This movie is not meant for color reference purposes.”
“Blue is the most difficult color to represent faithfully.”
“Purple is a forbidden color. Purple is forbidden in the studio. Purple is punishable by death. There is never an excuse for the color purple.”
“Orange exists exclusively as a native color in the studio. You will not find orange paint here.”
“Sheen refers to how much light a surface reflects. In the Studio, we refer to this as reflectivity. Black best exemplifies the reflectivity principle. Black is the color of strength, depth and speed.”