Pantone Colour of the Year 2014

Radiant OrchidWith the last month of 2013 upon us, it’s time for Pantone to declare its “Colour of the Year” for 2014, which this year is going to be…..wait for it…..Radiant Orchid, “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

Also known as Pantone 18-3224, Radiant Orchid “reaches across the colour wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “An invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.

The colour data for Radiant Orchid is here, giving RGB and CMYK values for ultra-chic illustrators and designers. Web gurus should note that the HTML value is #B163A3. There’s a video discussing how the Colour of the Year is selected too.

Pantone have the usual range of complementary accessories in the Pantone Universe (seriously!) including these fun Chip Drives, and the Spring Colour Report will feature Radiant Orchid prominently.

2013’s Colour of the Year was Emerald,  “A lively, radiant, lush green, a colour of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony” and 2012 was Tangerine Tango, “a spirited reddish orange, [which] continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward”. Honeysuckle, from 2011, is a distant memory.

Perhaps Todd should incorporate Radiant Orchid into the next GNC redesign. Green is so last year.

Earloomz: Fashionable Bluetooth Headsets

EarloomzEarloomz are the creators of fashion forward Bluetooth headsets. Their Bluetooth headsets have designs mechanically painted on them and each image is digitally set to ensure precise measurements and image quality. They have hundreds of designs to choose from including license products and fashion designs. You can get a Bluetooth headset with your favorite NBA  logo on it or you can make a fashion statement. Along with being fashionable the Earloomz headsets use the most advance Bluetooth technology available and have a sleek design.

The main market for the Earloomz headsets are females in their early 20s and 30s. Designs are chosen based on the latest fashion trends and artistic choice. It is a couple of months from the time a design is chosen until the product is on the market. The retail price for an Earloomz headset is $34.99 and they are available on the Earloomz website and through retail stores such as Best Buy and Fry’s.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net. and by Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Health Tech Weekly

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UrbanHello Home Phone

Urban Hello Home Phone

It’s not often that technology is so new that it’s only a few hours old but in this interview, Andy McCaskey chats to UrbanHello about their Kickstarter launch for their Home Phone.

The Home Phone is a DECT-based cordless speakerphone designed for family group conversations where everyone can take part. The 360 degree HD speaker produces great natural sound and not only is the Home Phone functional, it looks modern and stylish. The coloured part at the bottom of the phone comes in a range of interchangeable colours to either match or contrast the interior decor.

Don’t take my word for it, the Home Phone took Design and Engineering Honors at CES 2013 and it’s 27% funded with about ten days to go.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News for the TechPodcast Network.

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Pantone Colour of the Year 2013

Pantone Colour of the Year EmeraldPantone has announced the Colour of the Year and…drum roll please…it’s Emerald aka 17-5641. “A lively, radiant, lush green, a colour of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony” says Pantone.

Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other colour in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.

The colour data for Emerald is here, giving RGB and CMYK values for illustrators and designers who want to be in with the cool crowd. There are several tie-in products, including Pantone’s Fashion Colour Report for Spring 2013, which showcases Emerald incorporated into the collections of several well-known designers, such as Tracy Reese and Nanette Lepore. From February, Pantone bedding, pillows, bath towels and accessories in Emerald will be available exclusively at JC Penney stores and on online. There are plenty of other accessories, including iPhone cases, in Pantone’s online store.

Last year’s colour, Tangerine Tango, is now out.

Powered Bodyboard

Design Icon out of Kowloon, Hong Kong, has created this great concept for a powered bodyboard. Driven by three electrically-powered propellers, the board’s deck has embedded solar cells to extend the battery life, while adjustable buoyancy lets the board both ride the waves and go completely submerged. I want one.

Design Icon Bodyboard Concept

Design Icon Bodyboard Concept Deck

Design Icon Bodyboard Concept

Design Icon Bodyboard Concept Snorkeller

All images courtesy of Design Icon.

 

Swiss Voice: Landline Phones for the Modern Age

Swiss Voice Swiss Voice has been making phones for over 100 years since 1893. They are known for their beautiful designs and technology. More and more people especially the younger generation are using their mobile phones as their home phones. Swiss Voice makes a line of beautifully designed phones call ePure which combine the security of a landline along with the mobility of a mobile phone. On the front of ePure you can dock your iPhone and recharge it or stream music from it. When a call comes in you can either use the hands free option or you can pick up the handset for a more private call. The handset can also be used as a speaker with a push of a button. So if you want to listen to some music in another room just take your handset with you, push the button and you will hear the music playing on your iPhone. Swiss Voice also makes a non-iPhone version that allows you to connect your smart phone by USB cable.

Swiss Voice also makes a station which plugs into both your landline and your network by Ethernet. It allows you to answer your landline number using your mobile phone. Currently, the ePure is only available in Europe and Asia, they expect to be available in the US in July 2012. The iPhone ePure version should round around $199.00, the non-iPhone version will be around $159. The base station will be $99.00. If you still have a landline or know someone who does, this maybe a nice option the security of a landline with the advantage of a mobile phone

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine Podcast

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Pantone Colour of the Year 2012

Pantone Tangerine TangoFor the fashionista geeks out there, Pantone has released its Colour of the Year for 2012. It’s going to be Tangerine Tango, “a spirited reddish orange, [which] continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forwardIn Pantone’s Color System, it’s 17-1463.

Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.

The colour data for Tangerine Tango is here, giving RGB and CMYK values for illustrators and designers who want to be in with the cool crowd. There are several tie-in products, including Pantone’s Colour Fashion Report for Spring 2012, which showcases Tangerine Tango incorporated into the collections of several well-known designers, such Tommy Hilfiger. More practically, there are colour guides, swatches and the ubiquitous chips.

2011’s colour, Honeysuckle, is now officially passé.

Pantone The 20th Century in Color

Pantone The 20th Century in ColorPANTONE The 20th Century in Color looks to me like a great Christmas gift for anyone interested in colour and history: graphic designers, interior decorators, costume designers, website builders, Renaissance geeks. Authored by Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker and published last month, it’s a view of the last century with a focus on colour. Of course, it inserts the relevant Pantone colours allowing you to recreate colour schemes from the past to great effect.

The blurb says, “Pantone, the worldwide color authority, invites you on a rich visual tour of 100 transformative years. From the Pale Gold (15-0927 TPX) and Almost Mauve (12-2103 TPX) of the 1900 Universal Exposition in Paris to the Rust (18-1248 TPX) and Midnight Navy (19-4110 TPX) of the countdown to the Millennium, the 20th century brimmed with color. Longtime Pantone collaborators and color gurus Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker identify more than 200 touchstone works of art, products, decor, and fashion, and carefully match them with 80 different official Pantone Color palettes to reveal the trends, radical shifts, and resurgences of various hues. This vibrant volume takes the social temperature of our recent history with the panache that is uniquely Pantone.

Hyperbole aside, I think this will be fascinating look back through the past century and will be more than just a coffee table book: it’ll be a source of inspiration for when you want to get that “period feel”. It’s on my Amazon wish list so with luck, I’ll be able to bring you a review in the New Year.

(You’ll just have to forgive the twin spellings of colour and color in this article.)

BBC Beta Homepage for the Post-PC Era

The BBC is embracing the post-PC world with a reworked homepage at beta.bbc.co.uk. Here’s what it looks like on my TouchPad.

The black arrows on either side slide the screen through three other views. It’s a little bit reminiscent of how the BBC’s iPlayer displays programmes on my Bluray player, which isn’t entirely unsurprising. Some of the other features, such as setting your location, aren’t yet working but will be fixed before this version becomes the standard interface.

Compare this with the current mobile version of the site and you’ll see the change.

The BBC’s homepage was probably due for a refresh anyway, but I think it’s fairly telling that the new page is going to look the way it does. One can only assume that the BBC has stats on the web browsers being used to visit their site and they show the trend towards tablets and mobile devices. Is this the post-PC era with touch now driving the user interface, rather than keyboard and mouse?

Smashing Magazine’s 5th Birthday

Smashing Magazine is celebrating its fifth birthday and as a wee treat, has prepared a “Best of Smashing Magazine” ebook and is giving it away free. The articles are all about web design, Photoshop, typography and user interfaces (or the user experience as it seems to be called now).

It’s no lightweight either – there are 409 pages of beautifully prepared material packed with information and examples. The first article, “30 Usability Issues”, makes interesting reading even if you aren’t a web designer. By being more educated about design, as a consumer you can be more aware and critical of websites and other media. Did you know that the Macintosh logo is an example of the Law of Pragnanz? No, neither did I but you’ll have to read the article to find out what it means.

Other articles include, “Setting Up Photoshop for Web and iPhone Development”, “What Font Should I Use?” and “10 Principles of Effective Web Design”. There’s the occasional overlap between the articles but it’s never repetition for the sake of it.

The ebook is available from iTunes or for .pdf, .mobi and .epub formats, direct from Smashing Magazine. Warning – it’s 55 MB download as it contains all three versions of the ebook.