domenica 15 marzo 2020

Make Ink.

Today I just want to suggest you a book:
Make Ink: A Forager's Guide to Natural Inkmaking by Jason Logan

You can read it for curiosity in pigments, for the blissful photographs or for pure curiosity.. Here the official presentation:

"The Toronto Ink Company was founded in 2014 by designer and artist Jason Logan as a citizen science experiment to make eco-friendly, urban ink from street-harvested pigments. In Make Ink, Logan delves into the history of inkmaking and the science of distilling pigment from the natural world. Readers will learn how to forage for materials such as soot, rust, cigarette butts, peach pits, and black walnut, then how to mix, test, and transform these ingredients into rich, vibrant inks that are sensitive to both place and environment. Organized by color, and featuring lovely minimalist photography throughout, Make Ink combines science, art, and craft to instill the basics of ink making and demonstrate the beauty and necessity of engaging with one of mankind’s oldest tools of communication."

You can find it on Amazon or, in Milan, at the amazing Spazio BK.



There is an other step in this search... Now that is clear that the world's favorite color sits in the middle of bluish greens, G:F.Smith decided not to pick the more voted one but to write an other algorithm to have a color that summarize a wider range of preference. A sort of avarage, applied to color.

This is how “marrs green” is born.
A more than vivid/saturated green with a lot of blue in it. A completely unnatural color.

Of course all this work had a commercial purpose, that included not only finding the new perfect shade to be added to Colorplan paper collecion, but also to arise interest around it.

The results were presented through 6 outdoor installations and an exhibition.

Some popular brand were asked to made product in this exact shade and the capsule collection sold in an all-marrs-green temporary shop. A detailed report book has been pubblished and presented in many paper, graphic, design related places.
Here in Milan, at Paper and People amazing showroom.

All this survey makes clear that is possibile to work on more accurated, more relevant data that the one that cames from simple polls. Knowing peopole preferences opens to many other marketing related operations. Each brand identify itself (and its target) with some key words. If you know which color is commonly associated with each one of them, you can veicolate them by using the “right” color and build a cohrent visual communication or corporate image, that can immediatly be recognized in a unconcious but (statistically) effective way with very little space left for misunderstanding.



There are a few theories on how color preferences are driven by many kind of both personal and ancestral experiences. Pleasant memories, good tastes, positive situations are all linked to some color an viceversa. We transfer all these positive informations to the color itself and than the color casts them on every product it is applied on, guiding our choices when we pick a goods in almost any everyday situation.

Words collected in the database show all this adjectives to be related to three macro groups:
- positive emotions: happiness, calm/peace/relax, fun/cheerish
- positive physical attributes: deep/rich/bold, light/clean/clear
- natural environment: sea/ocean/water, sky, day/sunny/spring, flower/nature

But same words can be associated to different colors so..
around each word is possible to find a winner color and to build a palette, with proportional cluster of color. For example the color for "peace" results to be a light turquoise and the palette for "peaceful" has the same color associated with a deep blue and a hint of medium neutral gray and so on.

There is a huge problem in this,under all the other aspects well conducted research. People were asked to something abstract. Color is not. We always experience color in a context and - naturally or artificially - applied to something.

I love a particular tint of deep magenta purple. It’s my favourite color.
There are a lot of situations in which I would never choose it.
Results shows black to be the less loved among colors and the favourite one in this category to be a dark grey actually. Everyday experience says the opposite. We love black in many aspects of our lives, the deepest, the better. The shinest, even more.

People could also have chosen the most rappresentative color in the cluster. For example to indicate orange.One could have picked the more vivid one as little shifts in the color space make it to be quickly perceived as yellow or brown. Who works in graphics knows that some color has rapid mutation, other are widely reconizable even under the effects of a large range of variations.

More to follow...



The first interesting thing about this project is the method they applied to collect data and organically manage results.

People all over the world were asked, in a dedicated website, to choose their own favourite color, picking the exact one from a continuos color space, this means not between a pre defined range of samples, but freely. Then partecipants had to give it a name and to describe in a few words the meaning of it, the reason why they choose it and love it among the others. Some personal and general data as country, gender, age, time of the day, had been collected too in order to search for cultural and envoirmental influences.

In four months, 26.500 people answered the question.
More or less 70% were female, 30% male.

At this point, each color was defined by a name, a description and a code, but we often call the same color with different name. So what one calls green can actually be a blue or a yellow. This informations (subjective and objectiìve) were both used and organically organized by using a semantic and an algorthimic aggregating formula.

The first list, generated by number of entries for each color family was, in order of preference, the one below:
- green
- blue
- red
- purple
- yellow
- orange
- pink
- white
- black

The second step identified the exact favourite one for each group.
Surprisingly, differences between gender, country or age are almost irrelevant.
Just some slight shifting in brightness.

More on results in the next post



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