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  • Writer's picturejennyyoshida

Origin Story

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

The Color System started as a collaged sheet of color swatches with handwritten names under each. I was thinking about the idea of marketing colors, always in a positive idealistic way. As if painting your walls "Maui Sunset" would really make you feel like you were staying in a beach cabana after coming home from your 9-5 at H&R Block.

I started naming colors with names that drew from all different parts of experience, culture, history, politics, or absurd observations in order to make the colors a more honest reflection of life. Instead of aspirational, as colors are usually named, they are just reflective of a regular person's life.

Some of these original colors made it to the current version of the book and some are new.

To turn this piece into a book, I started by sorting the names into categories of the thing I was poking fun at, which turned into 13 "Color Systems". Then I found old photos that sparked the particular category and names to life and added scans of the color swatches into areas of the photo. The mylar overlay with numbers and arrows was a nod to the pages of encyclopedias I was drawn to as a kid with layers of transparent illustrations.

The collaboration with poet Bianca Stone was another layer that brought so much more meaning to the book. I'll go into more depth on that soon.

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