SLOW DOWN! CAUTION!
What happens when you see a wall of orange? It may jolt your sense but it gets your attention. So there's no need to fight the color; let it be your friend. Think of orange as your musical guilty pleasure. Why tone it down when you can turn it up? It's ok to take a design cue from those stark yet striking road construction signs. For the AR100 call for entry poster (GREED IS GOOD), we used a simple but powerful message to embrace the fluorescent inks. Similarly, for the Signature Theatre HAPPY TIME poster, a sea of orange background makes the minimal graphics pop in ways no other color could.
Don't judge a book by its cover. Really? That adage may ring true for a literature prof but it doesn't resonate with the color orange. Unless a book never wants to be noticed, it should be bright, bold, confident—or possibly evil—but it must stand out. For the This is NPR book, we embraced the orange since it's part of their corporate color—but we made sure the color didn't look too corporate. By adding on some spot gloss UV, the orange, became, well ... not so orange. It adds just enough sparkle to make a statement without making it shout (this is NPR, after all). Again, with the University of Virginia Library Annual Report, we transformed what the school bleeds—orange—into a slightly brighter shade. The actual size of the annual is small—only 5 x 7 inches—so it needs to shove its way up front when the 8.5 x 11 guys are on the table. So can you judge a book by its cover? Yes, but only when it's orange.
LOOK AT ME!
With the exception for Hermés and Halloween, fashion has never been friendly to the color orange. In the fall, blazing orange generally conjures up two images: a garish costume on the prowl for some chocolate or a rifle-slinging redneck trudging through the woods in search of some innocent creature. So how in the world can you mix orange into your design wardrobe without looking like a candy corn or a deer hunter? Simple: Balance concept with caution. For the Karla Colletto Look Book, we built a theme around Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory—instant oomph in the loomp—and it's appropriate, unique and memorable. For a table setting editorial for Washingtonian's Bride & Groom, we made orange the centerpiece, casting the color as the star of the shoot. No matter how you integrate orange in to a design, just be sure to balance the right amount and shade with the right audience. Bon Appetite.