Color Trends 2012 / 2013 – There’s Always Room For Jello

Liz Hick’s image if the SF Marina in yes, Jello – beside Pantone’s Foot Prints palette – jello image from

Monday (any Monday) is the perfect occasion to practice the art of not taking one’s self too seriously. Color is a topic that is far too often taken way too seriously. Sometimes putting a playful spin on bright color makes the process of finding inspiration less intimidating.

Some of you may remember Artist Liz Hickok’s whimsical recreation of San Francisco’s Topography in Jello – Why not combine Pantone’s 2013 Footprints palette with the quivering colors of molded Jello to make it all a bit less intimidating -trends and allot of great art are all about reinventing, reinterpreting and seeing what is all around us as though we have never seen it before….


Sometimes softening the lens through which we view art (no pun intended) helps assuage fears of inexperience or exclusion making creativity for accessible. So today we look to Jello for color inspiration  – after, there’s always room for jello!

The Alamo in Jello by Liz Hickok- image from

The challenge when designing with bright color is always trying how to avoid a childish or adolescent interpretation. Here are some tips to keep brighter color adult.

It’s easiest to apply the lighter colors in your palette to the background – that 60% of your area for color opportunity. Color, especially light and bright in contrast to a dark back drop creates the illusion that bright color is much brighter than it is  (as above). Keeping it lighter overall keeps the jewel tones fresh as opposed to adolescent.

A Jello / Footprints inspired living room – image from homeplandesign and looks suspiciously like Tobi Farley’s work


Rainbows can’t help be seen as a child-like palette. I like to interpret Pantone’s palette “Footprints” as keeping sight of that sense of wonder and willingness to discover that can fade in the face of adult experience and cynicism. Pantone Footprints has tempered the rainbow by adding shades caramel and milk chocolate to the mix.

rainbow-jello-cups – image from jgbinteriors blog










Separating bright colors with white can make them easier to read, and stripes are at once playful and sophisticated. The Footprints palette includes several complementary mixes. By narrowing the focus to the blue, diversifying the blue hues for sophistication  and separating them by white and that neutral gray, the complementary tangerine takes center stage with freshness and maturity.

image from refresheddesignsblogspot

Adding art and keeping it simple is one of the best ways to treat color like an adult.

Washington Apple-= Jelly Shots – offbeathomecom

Whether it’s a room or a jello shot for that matter, creating a new lens that affords a view not considered before is the caveat of all great design.

image via newlightredesign

One of the best ways to use bright color on walls effectively is to break it up.

Glass Block Jello – yayimadeitblogspot

Breaking up a brightly painted wall framed art adds both a play color and calming sophistication.

A bright and sophisticated living room – updateforthworthblog

Naroow the palette to a single bright color or two colors that you immediately respond to.

clocktower – lizhickokcom

Use only minute additions of the other shades and white to provide relief to the design tension that monochromes create, and focal contrast with white.

Now bring it home:

Pillows from Etsy.

thatfunkyboutique Etsy Store

Glass Lamps from

The iCarly Gummy Bear Chandelier:

Designers Guild Area Rugs from