Color Theory, Creative Projects

Color and iconography

Entrance gardens; janebalshaw.com

Color has a visceral effect on us and, when repetitively combined with shape, can powerfully imprint our memories. As an art form I find this an endlessly fascinating method of creative expression. Think about it; Stop Sign red or a white apple or golden arches…Iconography in our daily life trains us, reminds us – even sells us – and therefore creates emotion.

When I started up my aesthetics business again after having retired from it years before, I used symbolic hues to reinforce the principles of my color theory. To represent the three color groups I chose a yellow skin tone peach, a red hued pinkish skin tone and a blue based cherry skin tone for my interior/exterior design as well as my graphic design.

Floor and stairs; janebalshaw studios
Circles quilt; janebalshaw.com. All rights reserved.
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I laid the floor in the aesthetics studio and painted the entrance hallway stair treads with these colors. I made quilts for the walls in these colors…And I created a logo for my skincare products….

Combined with the circle shape, this color combination has been a subtle nod  what I did, and now has evolved to become how people find me in my rural surroundings.

In preparing for my open studio a couple week-ends ago I decided at long last to hang a larger road sign at the back of our property along a well-traveled rural state route. I should have done it years ago but being timid combined with the promise of a very complicated process made it all daunting.  I finally took the challenge.

I designed the sign myself then purchased the light weight Alupanel sign board and vinyl lettering from my local sign company, Advantage Signs (they have been incredible to work with!)  I applied the lettering then I painted my own circle logo using artist’s acrylic paint sanding the board first then sealing it with a water-based clear polyurethane.

The sign itself was huge and because it needed to be hung from a tree I hired an arborist to hang it for me.

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And, while this sign has presence, many people still miss the turn to my studios so I used iconography to direct them further. The town I live in says “only one sign per business” so symbols were the only way to direct people here.  I positioned the circles and color all along the route leading right up to the studio doors.

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Creativity happens when you least expect it.  Let me know how you feel about this post!

Entrance gardens; janebalshaw.com

12 thoughts on “Color and iconography”

  1. You’ve taken well to our grandfather’s profession of sign painting, and I love the pops of color leading to your studio! It all works just beautifully!!!

  2. Oh my – every picture is so beautiful- and I love that you truly have gotten over your fear of pink and how beautifully you tie it in to your palette.

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  3. Jane, as I followed the photo trail to your studio, I was taken back to my fascination with the Lord of the Rings trilogy in college. Back then I studied the woodlands, imaging that small “humans” off on a grand adventure would be revealed by the foliage. Thank you for taking me back to that time of my life. What a fun way you have created for finding the way to your studio- for the grand adventure of a wonderful hour of pampering!

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