Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Burberry Check

The Burberry Check colour theory analogy

The Burberry check consists of the black, white and red pattern was first created in the 1920's and simply first used as a lining. But by the 1960's its popularity increased and it quickly became the trademark of the Burberry brand, globally recognised it quickly became a strong status symbol and an inconic pattern.
The Burberry check combines subtle tints of low value colours such as soft beige contrasting with shades of high value colours like black and territory colours such as red-purple. This results in a constant colour scheme with the same brightness level throughout.
Tones of grey are added to the black to soften the contrast between the colours and decrease the intensity. The effect is one of low chroma.

The colour theory that can be applied to this pattern is the analogous colour combination. This is because the Burberry check lacks contrast between warm and cool colours; all the colours are of low value and therefore there are no stark differences in brightness. There is also a lack of colour contrast and the pattern doesn’t overwhelm you with vibrant colour scheme. The pattern also avoids using multiple hues so that the colours appear in harmony with another and is atheistically pleasing to the eye. The result is a feeling of sophistication and muted elegance, with a luxurious feel.

The Burberry check takes its inspiration from the traditional Scottish pattern tartan or plaid used to make kilts. The Burberry check uses the same crossing effect as the tartan fabric. Tartan however uses a basic hue usually consisting of a primary or secondary colours; red, green and blue. The pattern uses both aggressive and receding colours to create an intense effect, such as red and black.

The tartan pattern above uses a Triad colour scheme, as blue, red and yellow are all used, as well as the complementary colour scheme. This scheme has the strongest contrast between colours and uses both warm and cool colours. This means more emphasis is also put on the warm red so more attention is drawn to this colour.

Changing the tint and saturation of the Burberry check dramatically effects the balance and the harmony of the colours as shown in the four samples below:

As you can see from the sample the saturation has been altered so it appears to have low chroma and a achromotic colour scheme. The tones have low value and therefore appear lighter. From a personal perspective the scheme looks boring and dull and does anthesis of luxury fashion.

In this sample I changed the tint, but kept the saturation the same; the result was a light green base colour with a dark grey pattern.

For the third sample I changed the colour temperature so it appeared cooler and altered the saturation. The result was a sky blue hue with a striking pink border a complementary colour scheme. This is my personal favourite out of the four samples as it looks fresh and clean cut but also a lot brighter than the original burberry check.

In the final sample both the tint and the saturation have been changed so that the pattern appears a lot lighter. This is known as a mono-chromatic colour scheme, as the basic hue (pink) is highlighted by different shades, tints and tones this gives a more subtle effect due to the lack of contrat. However in my opinion the pattern is very boring and 2D. Nothing about this use of colour strikes me as exciting, it is very unadventurous and a 'safe' use of colour.

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