Color contrast between coasts

Color Composition

This week for Visual Language, we explored the power of color and the prominent role it plays on our psyche. What do certain colors mean? How do they impact our moods? How can they be used as a design tool to decorate, signify, and augment the human experience?

To investigate the impact of color in our own lives, we created a color composition of our weekend, documenting our surroundings and the color patterns that appear as we engage with our world. I’m glad we did this project this weekend, because I traveled to Los Angeles to visit my girlfriend and California has some dope colors.

Before I left for LA, New York was pretty dreary and gray. I hadn’t even really noticed it until now, but my New York wardrobe was pretty neutral in color–dark navy, black, white, grey. Very concrete jungle. Very functional. The only color that popped was a caution yellow on the subway tracks. In New York City, grey, dark blue, and black dominate the landscape with the myriad of skyscrapers, roads, and suited-up businessmen. Yellow taxi cabs and caution markers serve as a secondary color, but these secondary colors serve more a functional role than a decorative one in New York City.

When I got to Los Angeles, the color palette became much more vibrant with many different hues and brightnesses. As you can see from the color palette in my photo collage above, the colors make a stark evolution from the drab functional colors of New York to the pastel and bright colors of California.

Reds, oranges, and brighter blues become more prominent in my day, featured in a lot of the clothing and surroundings I see. I liked that there were even some greens and purples sprinkled in to add flavor to my day.

Composing the colors of my weekend as I traveled from New York City to Los Angeles was an eye-opening way to record my weekend. The values of each city seems to definitely be reflected by the colors that dominate the landscape. Los Angeles is bright and vibrant with its sunshine, beaches, and overall chill attitude. New York is functional and a little drab with its down-to-business attitude.

I tend to like the Los Angeles attitude of color more than the New York City one. We have so many colors for a reason, and we should choose to use them frequently. It’s interesting to see though that my wardrobe seems to reflect my surroundings. Even though I like the beautiful colors of the West Coast, I don’t look to pop too much compared to my New York City surroundings. While I’m sure neutral colors will continue to be the background colors of my life, I will definitely try to be more conscious to add some California color pizazz as the wintery cold months approach.