Kubrick, Colors and Branding
When I started to work for myself I planned to use the business name “Transmission.” I wanted to use this name for a few reasons. First, being British, I’m cursed to hate self promotion and the egotistical idea of using your own name. Second, the aim of any drawing is to communicate (or transmit) an idea and, well, ‘Transmission’ sounds way cooler than ‘Communication’. Third it is the title of one of the greatest songs of all time:
(You might not like it but you have to admit its something extraordinary hehe! That video is 38 years old. I was 9 when I saw it; mind blown)
When I had everything set up I showed my website and business cards to a friend. Her first comment was very succinct. “That’s a crap name, completely stupid. Why isn’t your name on this? Where’s your brand?”
Because I’m an idiot what she was trying to tell me didn’t sink in straight away, but it’s clearer now. If you’re involved in any creative field, writing, art, movies - when you reach a certain level, people will ask for work done by you. When that happens, you, the artist, has the agency to say no, or raise prices, or do whatever you want as power has shifted from the client to the author of the work. If they want it they have to deal with you.
There are many ways I’ve worked to improve my brand over the years, and I will go over them all in time, but I’ll start by discussing color.
To put it simply your color palette = who you are.
Pick your colors with care, then use only them.That way when you pull your work together into a book, portfolio or website it will have a consistent quality appearing a body of work by one person, not a collection of random images.
My work is either architectural or sci-fi so I needed man-made tones for glass, metal and steel; greens and browns for vegetation, and a selection of less brighter, pop colors for my sci-fi work.
But how to pick them? I decided to make life easy for myself and use colors provided by the genius Stanley Kubrick. I wrote my architectural thesis about, “2001: A Space Odyssey” and think it’s one of the best films of all time. I took a screen capture then picked different colors from it with Photoshop:
Now would be a fantastic time to create a new palette as one of the best sci-fi films of all time has just been released - Blade Runner 2049, what a movie.
One final thing about this technique - no matter how nasty the client, how ugly the work, everything I’ve ever drawn has a little Stanley Kubrick in it which makes me smile.
Miss you Stan.