• Gabriella Garcia

Visual Language Week 4: Six Versions of One Palette

This was a fun assignment that was really therapeutic as I wrap my final project for ICM & PComp. I used it numerous times to get my brain "started" in mornings that I was lethargic toward project work, and it reminded me of how a small but iterative artistic practice in the morning can truly set the tone for the day.


My first challenge was finding a palette that represents me. I exist along the 255 greyscale, from my clothes to my walls to my notebooks to my bedsheets. Seriously. I decided to look at my wardrobe for inspiration, and found that, while colors are rare, my choices are consistent. So I challenged myself to make a palette using those few colors and not using black at all, to celebrate those few exceptions:

Consistency at least in my color choices


I used Adobe's Kuler tool to define my palette, which made it easy to import it as a swatch to any other Creative Cloud app. I decided to dive into Illustrator for this assignment, as I hadn't really gotten my hands dirty in it; this week I have to produce my zine for the ITP booth at the NY Tech Zine Fair and want to use Illustrator for the layout so this was a great way to learn the ropes. I definitely felt the workflow pace speed up as I iterated, and by the sixth square I was able to claim a working knowledge of the program.


Six Squares, One Palette

Work is posted in the order it was created, with a short overview of my thought process throughout

I started super abstract mostly for the simple reason that I didn't know how to use Illustrator. Here I'm trying to figure out layers, curvature/filling curved objects, and using a brush library downloaded from the Adobe suite. Reminds me of ice cream and Miami for some reason.


This one started as a striated background with a heart, as I was playing with making objects with intention. It ended up feeling too sweet for me, so I started playing with creating a basic figure out of geometric objects, taking cue from the first ICM assignment of making a portrait using p5. I now totally understand how Illustrator or Sketch can save *hours* of programming time. I played with the gradient tool and really like how it gives the image dimension, which led me to...


It's a super basic landscape, but somehow the gradient gives it an indie video game feel. The waves really pop; I doubled each curvature filling one with my palette's blue and another behind it with white and used the gradient tool to blend the two objects together. I did the same with the setting sun and sky.


I was thinking about plans I have to celebrate New Years in the desert when I made this one. We're starting in New Mexico and driving from there to Joshua Tree. I also used a heptagram (seven is heaven!) as a symbolic glyph toward harmony in 2019.


I used the basic elements from the desert-scape to test my hand at branding. Here's a design for a millennially-minded boutique hotel with an Art Nouveau motif. Maybe they use this for their bar coasters.


Finally, I noted that I had enough colors to make a tartan print. I hate the color combination as a tartan, but I can see it as a tablecloth for a summer backyard bbq in Texas. I made an object out of rectangles, copy/pasted it on a new layer, rotated 90 degrees and brought the opacity down to 50%. An interesting way to make a repetitive pattern.


Here's everything back-to-back. It's super satisfying to see the flexibility of a single color palette!


© 2020 Gabriella Garcia