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Design Diaries: How Color Plays an Influence in My Designs

Design Diaries: How Color Plays an Influence in My Designs

As a designer, color plays a vital role in both my creative vision and Ollari's identity—rich, ethnic culture mixed with modern-day fashion. With that in mind, there's a significant thought process that's put into place before deciding which color palette will live throughout my designs. Color is a powerful communication tool—globally, emotionally and physically— so it's crucial that I choose mindfully.

Color and culture.

My time here in India has given me a thoughtful understanding of how much culture can influence color and it’s symbolisms. Since most of my designs are inspired by global culture, it’s important that I recognize every aspect of their principles and incorporate them mindfully into my designs. Although there are colors that reflect similar ideations among cultures, it’s imperative that we understand the circumstances in which a color is being portrayed. For example, the color white in both India and the United States represents purity, peace and knowledge—but here’s where it gets tricky. Indian women are only to wear white if they are a widow or mourning the death of a loved one while American brides wear white gowns to celebrate new love and passion. 

If you ever find yourself travelling internationally, I strongly urge you to become familiar with the culture’s color symbolisms and beliefs—you might just notice how you start to see the world a little differently. 

Color and emotion.

Do you feel anxious in a yellow room? Does the color blue make you feel calm and relaxed? Does that red tie give you an extra boost of confidence? Pablo Picasso once said, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of emotions.” Now, I’m sure most of you are familiar with the term color psychology– or at least you’re a victim of it, as we all involuntarily are. The concept of color psychology has become a hot topic in the marketing and design world because of the effect that is has on our moods and behaviors. For example, colors such as red, orange and yellow can evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and confidence to feelings of anger and hostility. On the biological spectrum, these colors can stimulate the mind and increase circulation and energy levels.  

Cool colors like blue, purple and green are often described as calm and soothing. Strong blues will stimulate clear thought while lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. Since the color green is closely linked to nature, it represents growth, harmony and freshness. This organic aura allows green to be the most balanced of colors, lending it an air of stability. Purple packs a sense of mystery, luxury and romance—making it a very sensual and appealing element of color. 

Color and design.

Color is such an integral part of my design process.  Moving, emotional and powerful— visual stimulation I like to call it. Color is the backbone of my design process and other than embellishment and craftsmanship. It’s one of the things that get me out of bed in the morning. The color palettes I choose to incorporate in my collections are a reflection of my own self and what I'm feeling in a particular moment in time. If I don’t feel drastically moved by a color palette, I’ll scrap it and start over. That is how passionate I am about conveying the perfect harmony.

My love for color and pattern is very much a reflection of who I am personally as a woman— a balance of vibrant and bold yet feminine and grounded. Earth tones are my native language; warm and soothing colors help me feel calm and centered.  I also have a love for vibrant saturated color to represent my bold and sassy side. 

I ensure balance of color in my collections because I know different types of women gravitate toward different things. For instance, when I am deciding on a color palette I’ll make sure there is a fluid synergy amongst all the colors before finalising. If I offer up saturated and bold tones, I’ll balance it out with also offering neutrals in order to appease different customers’ tastes.

Color is one of my favourite aspects of the design process and I understand women take it seriously when purchasing. My mission to give them a feeling when they buy my collections and live in the spirit of Ollari: multicultural, bold and feminine.


Meagan Ollari