Thinking in Colour

I have spent a lot of time practising writing and even doing presentations, but far less time exploring colour. This became apparent while attempting to design a document that needs to make an impression and be pleasing to the viewer. I decided to try an adapted activity from a Colour Theory lesson, which I’ve shared below (took about 2 hours). This is a fun exercise in creativity and like free writing it may help engage otherwise dormant thinking processes.

(1) Draw a colour wheel – I usually use an online colour scheme designer, however this doesn’t really encourage me to think about the choices.

(2) Find a location on Google Street View (I didn’t intend or have time to draw on street for this)

(3) Draw the negative space – this has 2 purposes: getting your brain to think differently and creating colour spaces for next step;

(4) If available copy to coloured card – I didn’t have any but might pick some up for next time

(5) Choose complementary colours for spaces (I had pastels so went with bold colours and hue change whereas coloured pencil may have been preferable)

I have to wonder if this was an exercise in procrastination or creativity – the negative spaces took a while to get used to. While I could have adapted a Word template in the same time as choosing a colour for my new format (using Scribus), this would have been far less enjoyable. I won’t claim to have radically altered my thinking, however it does draw attention to how the eyes perceive both colour and text in the same and yet different ways. While I can definitely improve my drawing, it also seems sensible to add colour to any set of thinking tools.


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