COLOR: the Good, the Bad and the Bland

9 Oct

A poster can live and die on its use of color. Color is an important element in graphic design and can affect the overall look. From picking color schemes to choosing saturation, there are many decisions to make.

Sometimes, the best use of color is keeping it simple and only using one color, as in the movie poster for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

The only color used is red. The red is a bold and warm color, immediately drawing attention. The red color outlines a bird’s feather, creating a dramatic look. Adding to the Hitchcock’s suspense, the red slices through the word “Birds.” The color also helps emphasis the text. The black font contrasted with the red and white also commands attention.

If more colors had been added to the Hitchcock poster, it wouldn’t have been as effective. But, some need more than one color and using a color scheme can also work extremely well. For instance, this poster for the Bonnaroo music festival uses a mix a colors.

The poster uses an analogous color scheme by putting together colors that appear next to each other on the color wheel. The blue, blue-green and yellow green colors are work well together and achieve a look for the poster with grass, sky and even the lights of a concert.

However, sometimes poster can get the colors all wrong, like in this poster for the band Animal Collective.

Although I like this band, this poster does not get is message across, partly because of the color choice. Some of the colors compliment each other, but I think there are too many. Also, the value and saturation of all the colors should be increased. The colors need to be bit dark and more intense in order to draw some more attention. Because the colors are so washed out, I didn’t even notice the text written on the yellow in the bottom corner and on the green in the top left corner. This is important information that the viewers should immediately see.

Overall, this poster is really bland.

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One Response to “COLOR: the Good, the Bad and the Bland”

  1. A Graphic World II October 12, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    really great flow through this. You set the reader up for what you were talking about and hit on key principles throughout without being redundant. Nice work.

    -Bridget Streeter

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