Friday, April 9, 2010


I always find that some of the best design inspiration comes from nature. For example, check out this pic of a Mandarin Duck. Just look at him. Isn't he is gorgeous?

Despite having so many colors, he doesn't clash. He "goes" as Stacy London would say. In case you wondering, only the male ducks have this fantastic coloring. My hours of watching Discovery Channel tell me it's probably a tactic they employ to lure in a mate. Dirty birds.

You might wonder why this birdie "makes it work", despite having so many contrasting colors. Let's examine, shall we? It's time for color theory 101!

(Yes, this excites me. Don't judge.)

There are really two types of color palettes going on: analogous and complementary. Analogous color palettes are comprised of colors all in the same "family". So the oranges/yellow/reds that all just seem a few shades apart? That's one analogous palette. The other is the deep blue and purple, and even the pink of birdie's beak.

In addition, those two separate, analogous color palettes - orange/yellows vs purple/blues - are complementary to one another (shame on
Tory Burch for suggesting otherwise). Meaning, if you look at a color wheel, those colors would be opposite each other. The visual contrast is pleasing to the eye.

I debated whether or not to include the mini-color theory lesson, or just let you bask in the beauty of the duck, but I couldn't help myself. :)

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