Showing posts from 2014

The Staggering Weight of a Delicate Flower

This beautiful orchid was recently given to me by two very thoughtful (and optimistic) friends. I am mesmerized by the colorful paper thin petals that evoke tropical birds in flight. The fragrant blooms remind me that the return of warm weather and flowers are not far away. I plan on sniffing the sweet scent as often as possible and hope to enjoy this lovely plant through winter and beyond. Except I know I will not. Because, this is not my first orchid. Or even my second. It may be my third or fourth, but I am choosing to forget exactly how many times in my life I have killed these tender beauties.

I remember my first orchid vividly. It was sent by an appreciative client and I was immediately smitten. I had never owned one before and was in awe of its unique, fragile beauty. The directions seemed simple enough that even I, a well known plant killer, could follow. Simply add "X" amount of water "X" times a week. How hard could that be?

Well, honestly, that would be…

Dreaming in Color

I can't imagine more appealing lodging for designers, artists and others who are hyper aware of color. This new boutique hotel is cleverly designed with a motif that plays off of the iconic Pantone color chips.

Long before graphic designers started selecting digital color on a computer screen, they used the Pantone Matching System, which was referred to by the acronym PMS. Over time, as the term PreMenstrual Syndrome (PMS) worked its way into popular culture the use of the Pantone acronym slipped away and is rarely used now.

Equivalent to a doctor and stethoscope, the Pantone swatch book was once an essential tool for the designer. Now, the Pantone color system remains an important part of print design, but takes a back seat to digital color systems.

In a smart move, Pantone inserted themselves into popular culture with their bright, innovative line of products touting Pantone brand. They also have positioned themselves as the arbiter of color and now annually designate "The…

Diminishing Views

I'm not quite done bashing winter yet.

While I enjoy the bluster and excitement of a storm like today's... I am also reminded that we are headed into the season of limited visibility. Without warning we can be thrust into a cave of snow as storms drop multiple feet of the cold white stuff on our homes. Just a few years ago we had snow so extreme that I literally couldn't see out of any of the windows in my home. Frantically, I tried using a broom to carve out a tunnel of vision. The broom was no match for the snow, so then I brought in the big guns and used my heavy duty steel shovel to unearth a view for myself. After a lot of digging, which included great quantities of snow ending up INSIDE my home... I opened up a tiny porthole into the outdoors. And then I could breathe again.

What is it about the feeling of being trapped inside with no view out? Is there a primal quality in some of us that forces us to keep the outdoors in view at all times?

Clarification on Desaturation

In the images I posted, I did NOT Photoshop/desaturate the lake image at top. Nature did that.

Where have all the colors gone?

Here we are at the winter of my discontent. Actually, I am discontented all winters, but only now beginning to understand the role that color plays in my unhappiness. Each fall New England explodes in its best show of the year. Vibrant greens gently transform into a gorgeous display featuring brilliant oranges, golds and reds. People travel to our region to see the seasonal spectacle and then quickly disappear to more temperate parts of the world as they know what happens next. Winter. The season that robs our landscape of all life-affirming hues. Just as the autumn leaves start to deepen into a second act, winter cruelly blows them away, leaving behind the dismal world of grays.

In graphic design there are many occasions where a designer may need to soften the intensity of an image so they can place type or other images on top. The easiest way to do this is to convert an image from full color to grayscale. Photoshop has a clever option that will do the dirty work in one heartless st…