Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Adams Morioka = COLOR

[Bastardized version of a slide for Sean Adams "There is no such thing as too bright" presentation.]

Continuing the series of "Why I love my job," Sean Adams of Adams Morioka was the speaker today. He was a great speaker. (If you're local chapter of AIGA hasn't booked him yet, get on it!) In his suit and striped tie with a tan, salt-and-pepper hair and Colgate smile, he looked a bit like a newscaster. A co-worker suggested he looked like a cast member from Mad Men which matched the images he showed of his mid-century home and strange fascination with It's a Small World (more specifically Mary Blair's amazing sense of color).

The core principles of Adams Morioka were boiled down into three points:

  1. There is no such thing as too bright
  2. The design of reassurance
  3. Color as brand (i.e. UPS and Tiffany)

They are pretty clear concepts from first glance. Though No. 2 may need some clarification. Adams expressed this idea as design being a tool to make the world a better and bring joy to people. Pretty noble goals.

His initial instructions to newly hired designers at Adams Morioka includes the location of the coffee pot, instructions to get away from your desk at lunch and leave by 6:30pm every night. Oh, and the thing about visiting the It's a Small World exhibit to see color expertly used in a schmaltzy setting. He said he's been particularly disappointed since the attraction has been closed all year in order to adjust the weight capacity of the boats.

At the end of the presentation, the last question from the audience was what Sean's favorite colors were. His reply was spearmint and yellow. We all nodded our heads and then started the discussion amongst ourselves, "Is spearmint like mint chocolate chip green or is it more yellowy green?" So I asked him after the lecture to give me a Pantone chip number and he said "PMS 311 or 312, somewhere in there."

Does this look like spearmint to you?

I think he meant PMS 331 or 332. Mmmm....

Books from Adams Morioka:

For more about Mary Blair:

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