Category Archives: Month of Color

Making a Difference with Color :: Project Color Corp!

Who doesn’t smile when they see a wall of turquoise? Or driving by an unexpected pink house or spying a red door on a walk? Color, whether we realize it or not, impacts us more than we know.

Laura Guido Clark, a Bay Area design and color consultant  has a mission to bring color into places that need it most. In 2011, Laura founded Project Color Corps, a volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to creating change by painting inner city neighborhoods with color and pattern that impart positive messages of optimism and hope. They began with a wonderful series of public art projects called “Random Acts of Color” (using recycled 45s and CDs) but now they’ve set their sights higher.

Project Color Corps’ first major initiative will be to paint  E.C. Reems Academy,  a K-8 extended elementary charter school located in one of California’s most at-risk and disadvantaged communities: East Oakland. One of the school’s guiding principles is: “Encouraging creativity to bring forth new ideas and achieve higher levels of living.”

And yet, the school is visually depressing, with layers of peeling paint on a dull exterior. Lisa Blair, its dynamic founding principal, explains,

“Our community is very drab. The colors are mostly tans and browns—like prison colors. This is the world our children live in: one with no vibrancy, no direction, no enthusiasm, and very little hope. If you’re sent from a home in disrepair to a school in the same condition, the message is ‘You are not worth anything. There is no place for you in this society and no one cares.’ But if the opposite occurs, if our kids were to walk into a school that is inviting and bright, the message becomes, ‘Come in, dream big. It’s your world, not ours!”

These bland and sad looking buildings hardly reflect the hope and joy of these awesome kids.

Here is a wonderful video about the project that is totally worth watching if you have a few minutes.

COLOR SPEAKS: Project Color Corps and the E.C. Reems Academy from Project Color Corps on Vimeo.

To transform the E.C. Reems Academy, Project Color Corp needs to raise $50,000 by May 2012. Every dollar can help! Won’t you please think about making a donation today? They need green. Glorious green!

Stairway to Heaven :: Colorful Steps

I have to say, nothing makes me smile more than stumbling upon a set of clever stairs. I know that sounds funny, but if you’ve ever seen a cool staircase then you know what i mean! Rainbow colors, maybe even lights, a little extra flash. I’m not sure what it is, exactly. You stand there at the bottom and look up and it just seems so majestic and cool. Check out some of these fun and funky stairs from around the world!

Rainbow Stairs in Westbourne, England


Bookstore (Livraria Lello e Irmao) in Porto, Portugal

Staircase in the colourful Palais des Congres in Montreal.


The Rainbow House in London


The Colorful Staircase in Wuppertal, Germany.

LOOOVE these! Don’t you? I especially love the hot pink book store, and this last one. Can you imagine walking down the street and looking up and seeing that awesome stairway tucked in between the buildings.

The Colorful World of Alexander Girard.

Graphic, bold, playful, fun….we are big fans of Alexander Girard over here! His work has a childlike simpleness but is also rather sophisticated. As we embark on our Month of Color, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of his awesomeness.

Alexander (“Sandro”) Girard was born in New York City in 1907 and was an influential figure in post-war American design. Girard was head of textile division at the renowned Herman Miller furniture company and worked closely with his dear friends Charles & Ray Eames and George Nelson. (Now *there’s* a dinner party I’d love to be invited to!)

Alexander Girard’s playful patterns and bright colors were a breath of fresh air into the otherwise stodgy and often colorless domestic world of post-war America. Drawing inspiration from folk art — Girard’s personal collection reached some 100,000 items — he brought a dimension of taste and color to his work with Herman Miller and their other design leaders, George Nelson and Charles Eames. Today, Girard’s fabric designs are timeless expressions of charm, wit, and originality.

(from Herman

An avid world traveler, Girard’s designs always reflected his love of festive colours and patterns and influences from around the globe. You might remember this post I did a while back on airlines of the 1960s. Alexander Girard was responsible for revamping Braniff Airlines, launching an amazing campaign called the “End of the Plain Plane.”

He redid their entire identity…from airport lounges and plane interiors (orange and pink seats, anyone?) and even painted all the jets in bright candy colors. He also infamously hired Emilio Pucci to redesign all the flight attendants uniforms!

Yep. This was a man who had a fine appreciation for color! Sadly he passed away in 1993, but his legacy and passion lives on! There have been many awesome re-releases of his artwork. Here’s how you can add a little Alexander Girard into you (and your kiddo’s!) life.


The always awesome House Industries has partnered with the Girard Estate and released some amazing pieces featuring Alexander Girard’s artwork. The memory game is one of my favorites! He originally created the colorful images as environmental “enrichment panels” that were designed to spice up the Herman Miller offices. Each game comes with 72 pieces and a limited-edition wooden box. Buy one here. The building blocks are also colorful and fun (and printed with non-toxic, kiddo-safe inks). AND then a little something for mama…..they also have an amazing collection of Gerard-inspired fonts. Me want!


Pincushion has taken some of his most iconic designs and put them on five fantastic growth charts! These are so great and would look pretty fab in any wall on your house. {They won’t be for sale til June/July, but you can pre-order one here.)


The Vitra Museum has released some of his artwork on these super snazzy serving trays. Score this sweet Alexander Girard Mother + Child Serving Tray here.


image: alison moore

This adorable chunky board book celebrates the vivid, playful, and sophisticated world of Alexander Girard (the cover features the vintage 1972 illustration “Girls” and there are 26 other classic Girard designs inside). Get a copy of Alexander Girard Color, here.

So there you have it. His work just makes me smile! And has me dreaming of a more colorful and fun airport….