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The colour challenge: your advice sought

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thomas

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You may have noticed that since we installed the JREF Xenith theme we have been experimenting with the design of the header: "autumn foliage" until recently and currently "oshogatsu". It's time to move on, but I'm a little reluctant to use large background images, as they have a significant impact on page load speed and server resources.

Which is exactly why I thought about just altering the header background colour depending on the season, using traditional Japanese colours. Being fond of gaudy colours I would like to have your feedback on the mock-ups below. Which do you like, which can't you stand?

And what do you think are appropriate seasonal colours?

水色 Mizu-iro Water color RGB 134,171,165 #86ABA5
mizu-iro-jpg.22394


縹 Hanada Light blue silk RGB 4,79,103 #044F67
hanada-jpg.22395


青碧 Seiheki Blue-green RGB 58,105,96 #3A6960

seiheiki-jpg.22396


苔色 Koke-iro Moss color RGB 139,125,58 #8B7D3A
koke-iro-jpg.22397


桑染 Kuwazome Mulberry-dyed RGB 197,127,46 #C57F2E
kuwazome-jpg.22398


Kohaku-iro Amber RGB 202,105,36 #CA6924
kohaku-iro-jpg.22399


紅鳶 Benitobi Red kite (bird species) RGB 145,50,40 #913228

benitobi-jpg.22400


新橋色 Shinbashi-iro New bridge color RGB 0,108,127 #006C7F
shinbashi-iro-jpg.22401


梅紫 Umemurasaki Plum purple RGB 143,65,85 #8F4155
umemurasaki-jpg.22402


薄色 Usu-iro Thin color RGB 168,124,160 #A87CA0
usu-iro-jpg.22403
 

thomas

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And two more:

柳染 Yanagizome Willow dye RGB 140,158,94 #8C9E5E
yanagizome-jpg.22404


瑠璃色 Ruri-iro Lapis lazuli color RGB 31,71,136 #1F4788
ruri-iro-jpg.22405


If you like any other colour from the chart, I'll be glad to upload it.

I'm looking forward to your feedback!
 

Mike Cash

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I think the 薄色 one would go well in May, when the wisteria is blooming.
 

thomas

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Mike, Lacota, thanks!

I have found a few resources on colours relating to seasons or particular calendar months for Japanese fabrics and dishware:

きもの 原宿「伴治郎」

Here's another list:
  • January Pine: sprout green and deep purple
  • February Redblossom plum: crimson and purple
  • March Peach: peach and khaki
  • April Cherry: white and burgundy
  • May Orange Flower: deadleaf yellow and purple
  • June Artemesia: sprout green and yellow
  • July Lily: red and deadleaf yellow
  • August Cicada wing: cedar bark and sky blue
  • September Aster: lavender and burgundy
  • October Bush Clover: rose and slate blue
  • November Maple: vermilion and grey-green
  • December Chrysanthemum: lavender and deep blue
Source: http://www.yamakawadojo.com/Japanese Traditional Colors.pdf

More:

Seasonal Colour Names & Combinations
Japanese Symbolism and Uses of Color
 
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Are you considering changing colours each month or sticking with a seasonal change?
 

thomas

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I love colours, and I love change, I know however that not all of our members share those sentiments. I am not certain yet.

I only know that the current header is a red rag to @Uncle Frank . :roflmao:
 
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I love colours, and I love change, I know however that not all of our members share those sentiments. I am not certain yet.

I only know that the current header is a red rag to @Uncle Frank . :roflmao:
To be honest the header colour doesn't detract too much from the layout of the site. Perhaps a seasonal change would be better, in that case. I hope you get a few more opinions.
 

Uncle Frank

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Colt gun metal blue would be nice , LOL . I think my dislike of red may be because I'm full of bull.
 
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I'm probably the wrong one to comment as my sense of visual artistry is pretty poor. That said, I just like change and don't really care which color at any one time.

My vote would be for monthly changes, preferably with seasonal images. Perhaps even highlighting different areas in Japan. A header full of images of the Hokkaido winter festival in the appropriate month would brighten my day, particularly since I still haven't seen it in person and it's near the top of my list.

If I recall correctly, the end of July is when the turtles hatch on Okinawa and make their way into the sea. That would make a lovely scene for a header.
 

thomas

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You may have noticed that we have changed the header to a January-based theme: deep purple background and a tsubaki (椿, camellia japonica, which will only be visible on desktop computers, not on mobile devices).

I'm looking forward to your feedback.
 

mdchachi

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You may have noticed that we have changed the header to a January-based theme: deep purple background and a tsubaki (椿, camellia japonica, which will only be visible on desktop computers, not on mobile devices).

I'm looking forward to your feedback.
I think it's fine. Of course almost nobody will understand the relationship with the color and the season unless they happen to see this thread. If you care about that, you'd probably have to add some light weight gif showing a tsubaki blossom or something.
 

Uncle Frank

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Darned if I know why it bugs me ? Maybe it reminds me of blood? Although it's not considered a color , black is what I like best. Gun metal blue would be my next choice. Maybe it has to do that I was bought up to think of bright cheery colors as "girl-y" and dark grim colors as manly. My head contains a lot of psychological baggage I fail to understand and can't seem to change after 65 years
 
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I can see it on my android.
Mmm I wouldn't change color each time as its your site's identity and makes people wonder where they are. When people think about Japan, do they think purple?

I think, greenish or redish would match more imo.
 

thomas

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The change is visible on my iPad.
Sorry, my post might have been a bit unclear: the tsubaki image is not visible on mobile devices (checked on iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone 5 and 6).

tsubaki-header-jpg.22424


I think, greenish or redish would match more imo.
Knowing you're a talented designer, if you had time for a little mock-up.... :whistling:
 

mdchachi

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That's interesting. I don't see that tsubaki image at all. I checked on Firefox, Chrome and IE on a Win8 machine. And on a Mac running Safari.
 

thomas

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That's interesting. I don't see that tsubaki image at all. I checked on Firefox, Chrome and IE on a Win8 machine. And on a Mac running Safari.
Weird indeed! I'll experiment with the header later this week when I have more time. Responsive design is a bliss, but given the plethora of OS/device combinations it causes a lot of design headaches.
 

Uncle Frank

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How about using color designs of Japanese kimonos ? I think everyone associates kimonos with Japan and there are thousands of colors and designs available. Just a close up of them , not the whole kimono.
 

thomas

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How about using color designs of Japanese kimonos ? I think everyone associates kimonos with Japan and there are thousands of colors and designs available. Just a close up of them , not the whole kimono.
Frank, that's actually a brilliant idea! Kimono have seasonal patterns too, so we could change them according to the time of the year or special events. Nice one!
 

thomas

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I have experimented with at least a dozen of different kimono patterns (I have shown some to @Davey), but most designs are just too lurid. One that strikes a balance between gaudiness, legibility (of header elements), and Japanese symbolism is the one below. Click to enlarge.

jref-kimono-bg-jpg.22454


Any comments? Your feedback is appreciated!
 
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