When I was young, I’ve always had an answer for when people were asking me what my favorite color is. It was blue, but then after a couple of years it turned to purple, and then turquoise, and then yellow when I got older…
“Relationships with colors are affected by our experience with them.”
Colors are like music genres, some people love rock, others love classic music, and some love jazz. The relationships with colors are affected by our experience with them, same as our relationship with different types of food. After having a good or bad experience, this love/hate relationship can change over time.
Lately, a friend of mine asked me:
“As a designer, please tell me… What is the ultimate color?”
Over the last years, as I got deeper into design, I figured that I don’t have an answer anymore. I’m not sure if I have a favorite, I don’t know what the best color is, I can’t promise that a specific color would sell more, and no, I still can’t decide the color of the shirt I should wear each morning.
Colors Are Simply Tools
Since design involves constant work with colors, I noticed that I no longer relate to colors as appealing or not, but as suitable or not. When different design projects require different approaches, having only one color on my palette is not enough. My own favorite color doesn’t suit in most of my design projects.
When I realized that I can’t make everything yellow even though I really like yellow, I started treating colors as no more than a set of tools to create visuals.
Should Designers Love All Colors Equally?
Maybe we should check if Facebook would prefer hiring a designer who loves blue rather than a one who loves orange…
Design is all about choosing the right option in a certain situation, and when a specific color suits better in the composition, more than another, we consider it as a “good” color.
“Like a carpenter that loves all his tools, I think designers should be able to like and use all kind of colors. These are our tools. Sometimes we need a hammer, sometimes a saw, sometimes green and sometimes maroon.”
“In many cases using our personal taste may help to solve design challenges.”
Yes, we still have our own personal preferences and sometimes we can’t ignore it, and this is good, we shouldn’t fight it. In many cases using our personal taste may help to solve design challenges. But, if we want to be able to produce a wide angle of styles and products, we have to learn how to leave our personal taste behind, and use all the tools in our box.