A Colour Story

Let’s talk a little bit about my colour story. Colour has been a major part of my life since I was a little girl. I recall stories of me throwing a temper tantrum anytime my mum wanted to put my pink dress on. For the record, I hate pink. I’m cool with magenta, or coral, but that bubble gum pink that is so typically used for girls makes me want to puke.

 Fun Fact! Did you know that up to the beginning of the last century, pink was for boys, and blue was for girls, look it up.

Red is my colour, it has always been my favourite, I mean, it’s my namesake (Rory means Red King in Gaelic). My mum called it ‘Rory Red’ and still does to this day. Moving forward through life, I typically dressed very colourful, and often mismatched. I was colour blocking before it was cool. I had hunter green jeans in 6th grade, and red Pumas that I really had a hoarding moment when I finally had to throw them away.

KettlebellsSo I was working out with my well-loved kettlebells the other day and when I looked down, I saw a very familiar colour combo, blue and orange. See, these colours pop up all the time for me. I was born in Denver, thus I am a Denver Broncos fan. My club swim team colours were blue and orange. My high school colours were blue and white, but we were the tigers, and thus, orange played into our sports gear. I married a Chicago Bears fan (I know, I feel bad for him too!) and their colours are, well, you get it. So when I saw my two kettlebells sitting on the floor, one orange, one blue, I had a thought, “Man, I just can’t get away from these colours.” But that’s ok, because that’s the whole point. Colour evokes memories and emotions from us. Some people make a living off of colour theory. For me, they are positive memories. I remember watching Super Bowl XXXII with my family and we were yelling so loud the neighbors were worried. I have amazing memories from my swim years, and while I didn’t have much of a social life during them, I truly believe I wouldn’t be who I am today if I didn’t have that structure growing up. And now, I know with my kettlebells that I’m putting myself and my health first, and one day that too will be a happy memory.

Colour is so important in design. It plays a very important role in the message you want to send to your customers/clients/followers. Colours make us happy or sad, they draw attention, or make things fall into the background. They convey your style and “cool” factor. Are you traditional? Modern? Do you appeal to the millennials or the soccer moms? When I start a new project, colour is always a very important piece to tie down. It’s not just, “Oh, these colours are pretty, let’s use them.” I request keywords in my style questionnaire and colour preferences, but make a thoughtful decision on what to use.

Point in example, the mood board I just finished for a new logo and branding design I am doing — here’s what they said when asked about colour preferences;

“We do not want to use primary colors. We…would like something a little more light and bright, clean and upbeat. We are very personable and outgoing. We feel our current business cards and website do not convey what we’re all about.  We create action sports videos, and we bring a progressive and artistic eye to our corporate videos and commercials. My husband and I own the company so we still want it to look unisex…. not to feminine or masculine.”

Along with a great list of keywords, I came up with a fresh colour palette that is non-gender, modern and personable. Do you think I’m on the right track?


01. Ave Styles   02. Artifact Masque   03. Lene Bomholt   04. Simon C. Page   05. Arbor Restaurant   06. Simply Grove   07. Touch. Taste. Design   08. The Minimalist   09. FutureBrand 10. glitter Guide


What’s your colour story? Do you have a colour or a colour combo that is a pattern in your life? I’d love to hear about it.

I would love to hear your questions or comments below!

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