Toy Tech: Color Keys – Strategic Design Choices (Part 2 of 2)

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Class Demo: Rough color key—fast, simple and direct.

The color keys featured in Part 1 & 2 of this article are from my design class demo working out color, lighting temperture and edges all within a very fast, simple and direct apporach. I appologize for not using one of my actual toy color keys but they are still in production and owned by the clients. Anyway, the color variations from key to key work out possible color solutions providing differing levels of emotional response.

In Part 1 (see link below), the color variations depict the use of fully saturated color primaries while the other two employ one saturated and two de-saturated primaries to create differing emotional responses to the over all design. As detailed in the image above, which uses fully saturated primaries, the color comp (another term for people in advertising and print design) is meant to provide down and dirty color annotations with little to no detail. Be sure to keep the process fast, simple and direct. 

As you develop your keys, you’ll find some strategies work better than others as you see them side-by-side. This is a great opportunity for creative geniuses to partnership with brand building marketing gurus, both working together to analyze the current trends and applying that strategic information to develop the best toy possible. Think everything through and explore every avenue to make a deliberate decision based on feeling and professional theory.

Taking the time to work out the full spectrum of color possibilities available within the color wheel always pays off in the end. Like musical notes in a beautiful symphony, color notes enhance the creative statement you are making within your brand strategy. These choices bring vibrant life or dismal death to your toy line and make the difference between selling in and selling through.

So, take some time to explore formulas for color harmonies such as analogous color, complementary or spit-complementary color, triadic color schemes, rectangle (tetradic) color schemes and square color schemes which is another variation of the triadic formula. Checking out the latest books and blogs that focus on color will help you push these concepts even more.

By looking at your current toy design through the lens of color keys, you’ll not only leverage current visual trends but also take them to the next level. Work the wheel to help your design rise above the ordinary to the realm of extraordinary. Use every tool at your disposal, especially your own unique design sensability, to imbue life, energy and dynamic color design into your next golden idea. 

Toy Tech: Color Keys—Strategic Design Choices (Part 1 of 2)

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