A Black Dose

Resurging with a vengeance, a grounding passion, pushing towards a very individual standout product.
Potent, powerful, big, lusty, vigorous, virile. I’m seeing a new direction in several sectors of the market where Brands are using this glossy shade; revolutionizing style and enhancing performance, bringing a refined aesthetic to their products.

Benq Siemens Black Box – Pyrite Thong Sandal – Corbis Black Dice

Lee Angel Black Glass Bracelet – Victoria’s Secret Chystallized bikini – Samsung Aura

Storefront Beverly Hills – Bench, Milan Furniture Fair

NikeNate – Ambassador Billiards – Kent Nanotek – Chanel’s Vernis Black ($100!)

Audi R8, top 10 luxe – Karlson wall clock – Maybelline Volum UltraBlack Mascara

D and G Catwalk Invite – Bowers, Nautilus Speaker – Playsam, high luster RacerF1

Color in Design

The impact of color, appearance, and mood. Seeing colors is our own perception and it is a subjective experience.
Color symbolism plays an important part of human life, understanding the symbolism of color is vital for marketers. Color symbolism is a learned behavior but it has an associative power that affects how we perceive that color and the mood or emotion that is produced by it, for  example, red conveys excitement, green helps promote relaxation, and brown is the cozy color that creates an atmosphere of comfort. Given that color symbolism is learned, some colors  can convey universal messages while others vary by ethnicity, cultural, or  socioeconomic background.

RED Strong Emotions/Warmth/Love/Anger/Danger/Boldness/Excitement 
We are seeing more moods evoked by brands and their communication through the impact of color, packaging and appearance: the likes of surprise, revelation, discovery, elation, joy and other universal emotions.

Not simply mood association, color is also found to considerably affect our other senses: what we hear, taste, smell and touch.
In Gestalt psychology the entire organism is looked upon as a unity and the centers for processing sensory information are linked to each other, leading to chain of reactions.

ORANGE Spicy/Stimulates Appetite/Vitality/Cheerful/Sunny/Affordability
Orange is a power color, containing some of the fiery energies of red, but is gentler with a more creative spirit. It is one of the healing colors. It is also said to increase craving for food. It stimulates enthusiasm and creativity. Orange means vitality with endurance.

Some examples to show how color affects to other senses:
Perception of Temperature
The color of a room will affect the perception of temperature. In an experiment a  group of people was placed in a red-orange painted room for some time and the other  group of people were in a blue-green painted room, the temperature of the two rooms  were thesame. It was found that most people in the red-orange room felt warm and the  people in the blue-green room felt cooler. Application of this sensory association is often used in interior design, where location and use of energy is considered.

YELLOW Attention Grabbing/Comfortable/Upbeat/Lively/New/Unusual
Use yellow in communication or product when you want your consumer to:
Feel clarity/decisiveness/attentiveness
Gain relief and energy from ‘burnout’ and exhaustion
Remember with stronger concentration

Perception of Noise and Sound
Color also has an effect on the perception of noise and sound. Studies show that the  bright warm colors are associated with loudness and the opposite for cool colors. It may  be because people mentally connect a loud red with one of high saturation and the high  saturated hues are usually considered to be high-pitched and shrill sounds. These findings  are particularly useful in ambiance and decor for venues such as clubs, restaurants, transportation and even event planning.

BLUE Calming/Constancy/Loyalty/Reliability/Melancholy/Energy Flow
Blue Energy-Blue gives a feeling of distance. Artists use it to show perspective. This is a good way to understand the energy of the color blue – allowing us to look beyond and increase our perspective outward. It contains a cool vibration that is helpful to communication. Color connects with the viewer far more directly than words or numbers.

Association of Odor and Taste
Some studies also found that colors are associated with smell and taste. For instance,  pink is associated with sweetish, yellow is sour, orange is strong, and green is sour and  juicy. It is also found that pink, lavender, pale yellow and green have pleasant smell.  Candy is often in pink packaging. On the other hand, blue is found  to be an appetite suppressant, avoid using it in restaurant or food packaging unless you use it for weight-loss, for example, blue  light in refrigerator will definitely work!


Color & Trend Service

I am developing new reports into 2010 linking consumer color preferences and social trends to guide and inspire on how best to use the upcoming season’s colors with news, analysis and ideas for design, marketing, merchandising, packaging and retail.

Contact me for more info: tamora@maverickdean.com

Color Paradox

Summer is traditionally the season for bold and bright colors. For 2009/2010 we are beginning to see an intensity of subversive and grating brights splashed across the board of new product innovation. This palette seems to mean a revival of a combative confidence and creative boldness while fearlessly experimenting.

-Tribal Tech is a good example of this as well as the paradox of opposing themes-the mix of traditional folk culture with a sense of acceleration and a life lived at break-neck speed, dominated by amusement and fun. An awareness of the world born of the desire to save endangered resources and folklore. A nomad, tribal spirit, also inspired by urban landscapes. A cultural mix where natural instinct is reconciled with technological progress.

One hopes that “seizing on color as a power source” will prove a powerful enabler to the consumer in these increasingly difficult times. The weavers and textile factories have already prepared bold offerings for the market in the hope that this tactic is just what the consumer will desire. These colors evince a clear predilection for risk taking, showing that the fashion industry believes cannot maintain a low profile.

But in a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount and no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow. This direction represents a sustainable “slowing-down lifestyle”- Yellow shines with optimism, enlightenment, and happiness. Shades of golden yellow carry the promise of a positive future, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation.

The trouble with predicting the 2009/2010 season is that there really is little collective understanding of just how far down our economic climate will tumble as we stand on the precipice of what could be the worst recession in decades. In this sense, the rhetoric used by the fashion team of “putting aside consensus” makes a certain amount of sense. Our reaction to color is almost instantaneous and has a profound impact on the choices we make everyday. Shifting aesthetic boundaries may help us to move the market and these bold colors may do just the trick.

Design, Material and Texture Inspirations

These products and concepts have inspired me to take a second look. There is a movement and redefinition of aesthetics in surface, texture, shape and application.

Spectacular Craft
Transformation of the ordinary: advances in material technology and a hint of kitsch irony. The reinvention of the traditional, inspired by the “everyday” is a growing trend. I’m seeing experimental use of materials and techniques that are creating a fresh and contemporary look. Boundaries and expectations of surface and textures are reinvented.

Artist Jamie Cullen combines digital artwork with photographic elements, a mix of romance and rock with a twist of electro, and tuned into the worlds of music, fashion and cinema.

Vere, a fresh take on chocolate was born from a passion to create the most sophisticated, pure chocolate imaginable in a stunning gift package of premium artisan decor.


Unique and original, detailed laser-cutting: catwalk invite for designer Sue Stemp.

From exceptional packaging designer (Carlo Giovani whose work has been featured in the New York Times, MTV and more) his specialty is 3-D paper characters. Packaging-as-toy concept is highlighted here in this tea box.

What really stands out as memorable these days?
Every once in a while you find inspiration. Sometimes it’s a picture. Other times, inspiration hits by seeing how someone else “re-sees” the ordinary and forgotten objects we pass by everyday without a second glance. Ping Mag has a great article called “The Designing Process”, check it out:


New York Catwalks A/W 08-09

On The New York Catwalks/Design Details — Autumn/Winter 08-09

Techno-ethnic, Retro Boudoir:
Key details for the season ahead, with inspirations drawn from a global melting pot of influences from African tribes to Native Americans. Look for indigenous inky prints combined with heavy embellishment.

Anna Sui (l), Christian Lacroix (r)

Anna Sui (l), Chanel (r)

Matthew Williamson (l), Anna Sui (r)

and some bottoms:

Karen Walker (l), Anna Sui (r)

Bill Blass (l), Christain Lacroix (r)








Report: Cosmoprof '07

Packaging/Prints Rule!

The wide use of prints has partially been driven by the need for newness but with affordable development costs. By applying seasonal prints to existing bottle designs, manufacturers can maximize the products’ link to a strong fashion trend.

Bright, joyous packaging, heavily patterned with exaggerated shapes and intense colors. Fun is brought in with ingenious ways of presenting the product. Hearts, lips, optical, NouveauAsian, stylized motifs remain popular, with cute retro graphics/patterns (influenced by illustrations of the 1930s-through-1970s) as well as elaborate 3D texture.

Product/Packaging: Food !

The trend is all about pleasure with the sensual enjoyment of foods such as chocolate; and fun, with a don’t-take-it-too-seriously approach, seen in aromas, packaging and ad imagery that will appeal to the young.

Food and beauty are being linked in two key ways:

There is the direct use of food and drink ingredients and often named after them. The buzz foods of the moment are figs, olives, milk, sugar, tea, chocolate, berries, apples, certain spices, honey, vanilla (especially in perfumery.)

Food imagery and packaging are being used for products intended to look, smell, and feel just like real food. Products are being packed in yoghurt pots, honey jars, milk bottles, tea bags!