#173 Neutrals & Pastels
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The softer side of color
AmperArt #173 Neutrals & Pastels is all about the softer colors of the spectrum. While neutrals are often used for interior wall & furniture décor, as well as paper stock & car interiors, pastels are frequently used to cheer up a room & express softness & joy. You’ll see pastel cars, too. & of course, since this is the March 2021 AmperArt release, let’s not forget pastel Easter eggs. Combining the soft pastels & brilliant hues of flowers reminds us of spring.
Neutrals: hue & tone
Neutrals are colors that have just a hint of hue, or none at all. (I could say “just a hint of color” but actually everything you see is a color.) Neutrals range from pure black to pure white, & all the colors in between are basically gray with or without a little hue added.
Hue is pure red, yellow, purple, green, pink, cerulean, & so on; the pure colors on the color wheel.
Tone is what is done to those hues by adding various amounts of gray (tint plus shade), whether dark, medium or light. This results in a muted color. Muted enough, it’s a neutral. In home décor, neutrals most often refer to light variations of white or gray; however they can run the gamut of mid-gray to charcoal. Neutrals, in the realm of décor & design jargon, aren’t always exactl y neutral, though — they can have a slight tinge of hue, such as bluish gray or beige. Even white & black are neutrals
Tip: to achieve the color teal, which is not a pure hue nor a neutral, you simply add gray to your choice of greenish blue or blueish green. You’ll get a muted blue or green, which is teal.
Pastels: hue & tint
Pastel colors are obtained by simply tinting (adding white to) hues. The resulting colors retain the purity of the hues, just a lighter version. If black were also added that would tranform the pastels into neutrals.
My own logo: neutrals & pastels
It just so happens that logo for my graphic design studio combines silver, which is neutral, for the word “DESIMONE” & pastels for the word “design” which, against a black background, creates a striking contrast.
To wit: (Haven’t heard that term in a long time, have you…if ever?)
Speaking of logo design, there should always be a solid reason for every element, whether shape, typestyle, or color, in a logo — even if the meaning is a personal one, significant only to the business owner. The tighter the logo is embraced by the CEO & staff, the stronger it will be valued, promoted & recognized. In my design studio logo, each pair of letters in the word “design” stands for a special time in my early life related to design. The turquoise & orange of “d” & “e” are the colors I used to paint a cork coaster in 5th grade as a gift to my mom. Purple & green graphics, signified by “s” & “i,” were used on posters for a haunted house I put together while in junior high. The “g” & “n” orange & pink were the colors of the coffee shop, House of Pies, where I met & befriended one of my design mentors, Dave Cobb, in my late teens. Silver, the color of the lettering for “DESIMONE,” holds a lot of significance: it’s my favorite metallic color being pure, untainted with gold or copper hues, modern & cool, & simply neutral, encompassing all the colors mixed together. It also reminds me of mid-century design, which I can’t get enough of. & the black background? Besides providing a striking contrast for the neutrals & pastels, black is my absolute favorite color. (As for the choice of typography, that’s a different topic on which I’ll elaborate when I release “Roman & Gothic” — this post is all about neutrals & pastels.)
Production notes for #173 Neutrals & Pastels:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Note: “&” replaces “and” in most or all text, including quotations, headlines & titles.
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Chaz DeSimone, designer & typographer, is the creator of AmperArt & owner of Desimone Design. He was adding serifs to letters when he was just a little brat scribbling on walls. Now he’s a big brat & his entire career is design, so long as each project requires the most sophisticated, logical, captivating results. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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