Color is the first thing we notice in a picture – before we have even seen what’s in it. Color fires straight at us, bypassing the brain, aims straight for the heart. Just like smells. Colors are the smell of the picture. You’ve got to pick the right perfume…
Colors are the visual form of our emotions. The way they are applied in a fashion photograph defines a fashion line and its world of emotions. What the key is for music, the color mood is for the picture: the foundation of feeling. Colors are such an universal language – and at the same time very personal. It’s an openly intimate unity with the viewer.
Color does not add a pleasant quality to design – it reinforces it.
Clear and strong or dark and muted?
If your fashion brand lives on the positive side of life you need strong, bright, colors. Bright colors mean good, strong emotions, and express supreme thinking. This is a great choice if you build a bright, forward looking brand that caters to the educated, the sophisticated, the influential. A higher saturation in color in combination with clear, bright and strong colors creates magic.
If you are the designer of a grunge line or design for the underworld of heroin chic, darker colors, less saturated, are a great choice to picture the dark and brooding emotions. Maybe a splatter of red – it doesn’t have to be blood – can put the right contrast in to give the dark colors depth.
The modes of color
There are infinite possibilities with color. We have warm and cool colors, neighboring and opposing colors, high and low saturation…
I’ll focus on the color choices that increase good emotions. We need uplifting emotions. Great emotions are the organic cocaine.
And we can never get enough great, uplifting emotions. We want colors in our lives. We suffer from gray, and low saturation feels like decay. I feed the hearts and the minds with uplifting colors, so they can fly.
The Color Black
The color black is as important for picturesas it is for fashion. But instead of the little black dress we want a big pools of black, into which bright colors flash like burst from the sky. We want shadows! They give us contrast! They give us the feel for space! They make colors brighter and shine them in our eyes until we are drunk with joy and sensuality!
Working with shadows is called chiaroscuro, and one of its masters is my good friend Caravaggio. As I’m not 500 years old, “good friend” means that I’m looking at his paintings so often that I feel he’s a good friend of mine. That’s what the immortality of great art. Cancel your plastic surgeon, and go to the museum instead and see good pictures, internalize the colors, the stream of life.
Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? You can’t…
Creating the Wonderful World
In my cover picture, the girl in the red dress sits in very green grassland and looks over a very blue ocean underneath a very blue sky. The contrasting colors give a vivid emotion, and the color contrast increases emotion and the three-dimensionality of the picture.
In Raphael’s “Entombment” the strong colors of the characters’ clothing create a high color contrast. They increasing the space, the energy, and the graphic precision of the painting.
Intense green, vivid red, deep blue breathe life into the characters.
The colors of the landscape and the sky are less saturated and recede into the background, making the figures stand out even more and create a vivid, three-dimensional impression of space.
Colors are chosen for a picture like tones and sounds for a piece of music. Chosen well, they create a symphony for the eyes and you can be just as high on color as you can be on less legal and artistic substances.
The magic language of color help create images that are beautiful in itself and go beyond their commercial purpose. They will give a touch of eternity to your collection. This beauty will still prevail when a dozen trends have come and gone.
Color directly influences the soul.
Uncompromising beauty will shine on your brand as an eternal light and will give your brand the touch of class that withstands time. It will put the appreciation of your designs into people’s hearts that goes beyond anything that can be measured. It gives magic to your designs. This is the power of the smell of pictures.