“My personal favorite. This piece had everything! It’s a wonderful example of concept, design, information management, content, animation, execution and cohesion. It not only demonstrates a solid comprehension of the perceptive experiences created by color, but also those created through well-executed, thoughtful design and interactivity.” —juror Deb Koch
“An absolutely stunning and playful interactive piece covering the power and emotion of color. Bright, fast-paced and full of top-notch animation this piece is a delightful way to learn and think about color. Don’t be fooled by the playful animations and music—this piece is full of valuable information.” —juror Craig Swann
Overview: An innovative, and interactive, M.F.A. thesis (now available online) brings color to life in an engaging manner. When education is this much fun, everyone learns; through its interactive components, viewers learn to relate color to the natural world.
• CD-ROM based
• Some activities have a printing feature
• 9 months, 1 person
Comments by Maria C. Cortes:
“One of the questions I asked myself when deciding on a subject for my M.F.A. thesis was, ‘What element do you enjoy the most about graphic design?’ Since ‘color’ was my decisive answer, it became the starting point of this project.
“One of the project’s goals was to give it an educational purpose. Since there are many disciplines that use color as a communication tool, color symbolism seemed like it provided a great opportunity for in-depth examination. I also wanted to present the information in a non-traditional way and provide users with a fun experience while they were learning; color, accompanied by motion and music, seemed a perfect way to achieve my goals.
“I was really excited when the concept of assigning human characteristics to the colors came to me. By associating colors with actions, feelings, objects, flavors, etc., I could describe personalities and relate them to familiar things and situations. Not only would it make the project unique, but also, users would really be able to identify with the characters.
“The design of the characters was paramount; they had to be simple enough to keep them flexible, but since they were also the main visual element, they also had to be appealing. By far, the most challenging task was creating believable human movement for the characters. In addition to consulting animation books, I often found myself in front of the mirror, jumping up and down, playing various roles.
“Selecting the music for each color was a particularly interesting task because it would be what ultimately determined the mood and pace, just as the appropriate voices would play an important role in the success of the animations. While listening to a diverse range of music, I discovered the strong connection between music and color. I had read about that relationship—how some instruments or types of music resemble one color more than another does—but experiencing it myself truly broadened my view.
“I think the strength of this project is that it talks about color in an enjoyable way that makes people remember what they’ve learned. It doesn’t overwhelm the user with a lot of information, but provides enough to give the main idea of what each color symbolizes.”