Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Demonstratives and the language of colour

The primary purpose of the tools we use everyday - AVID and PremeierPro for example, is the creation of demonstratives (or illustrative evidence) for court or our clients involved in the criminal justice system. We highlight a person, spotlight a face, obscure a face, draw an arrow towards a feature, and etc.

We've been discussing communication a lot here locally, and it occurred to me that (perhaps) we might be missing something in our decision making process - when we create our demonstratives. We might be missing the language of colour.

"If one says “Red” (the name of a color) and there are 50 people listening, it can be expected that there will be 50 reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different colors." Josef Albers (1975)

For example, red means danger or love in the U.S, death in Egypt, and life in India. White means purity in the U.S. but death in China and Japan. Therefore, chose your colors with your global audience in mind.

Thus it becomes important to consider colour as language - as a mode of communicating. "Color motivates, excites, draws attention and provides emphasis. It is one part of the coordinated effort to effectively communicate in information design. Color has long been thought to be only for embellishment or decoration. But if used intelligently, color can help give visual order to complex information. It can attract, enlighten and engage, and thus, add value."


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