Inspired by The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour"

In a new project, “The Day’s Color,” designer Nigel Dennis distills a random experience from each day of his life into a simple collection of seven hues.

Inspired by Beck's "Sea Change"

Each day, he uploads these palettes to a website celebrating his love of color.

Inspired by Peter Gabriel "So"

“I really wanted to get down to the true influence that my surroundings have on me, by focusing on the colors and hues of my everyday experiences,” Dennis says.

Inspired by OP-1 Synthesizer

“It's a challenge making sure I capture what I feel is the essence of each subject through color.”

Inspired by "Her"

By separating out their most basic visual ingredients, Dennis offers a minimalist interpretation of often maximalist works of art, music, and cinema.

Inspired by iOS 7

In an overwhelming world, it's somehow calming to see complicated experiences broken down into such pure, organized color profiles.

Inspired by "Drive"

As a whole, the project is a meditative study in how color can determine the mood or flavor of an experience in ways we might not always be aware of.

Inspired by "2001: A Space Odyssey"

The palettes themselves are reminiscent of legendary color theorist Josef Albers' experiments in The Interaction of Color.

Inspired by Kanye West, "Yeezus"

“I will keep on until I'm tired of it,” Dennis says.

Inspired by Lake Michigan in Spring 2014

He plans to update the site soon with monthly books and prints for sale.

Inspired by the artwork of Kaws

He plans to update the site soon with monthly books and prints for sale.

Inspired by the artwork of Stanley Donwood

He plans to update the site soon with monthly books and prints for sale.

Inspired by Radiohead, "Kid A"

He plans to update the site soon with monthly books and prints for sale.

Co.Design

"2001: A Space Odyssey" Reduced To Its Color Palette

Nigel Dennis reimagines everything from Spike Jonze's Her to Radiohead to iOS 7 as color palettes.

A color palette defines everything you do: eating granola, watching Mad Men, and flipping through album covers and sliding out a record. The designer Nigel Dennis, clearly a considering guy, decided to trade on his ordinary experiences and use them to define a project he calls "The Day’s Color." He distills a random experience from each day of his life into a simple collection of seven hues. Each day, he uploads these palettes to a website. In short, it's a celebration of color.

Conceptually, it's much more. What emerges in the project is a new, and surprising, take on experience. You can't help think twice, and reconsider, those experiences as Dennis breaks them down—into pure, organized color profiles.

"I really wanted to get down to the true influence that my surroundings have on me, by focusing on the colors and hues of my everyday experiences," Dennis tells Co.Design. "It's a challenge making sure I capture what I feel is the essence of each subject through color."

Beck's "Sea Change"

By separating objects and activities from their most basic visual ingredients, Dennis offers a minimalist interpretation of often maximalist works of art, music, and cinema. When color-profiling music, Dennis boils down the color schemes of his favorite album covers: Radiohead’s Kid A, Peter Gabriel’s So, The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour. Films, including Her, The Master, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, get a similar treatment.

Some of these color schemes are immediately recognizable, such as the whites and blues of iOS 7. Others are more subtle—the muted family of beiges and grays inspired by the haunting credits of HBO’s True Detective; the blues, greens, and browns distilled from the landscape of Lake Michigan; a scheme inspired simply by "dinner." As a whole, the project is a meditative study in how color can determine the mood or flavor of an experience in ways we might not anticipate.

The palettes themselves are reminiscent of legendary color theorist Josef Albers's experiments in The Interaction of Color.

"I will keep on until I'm tired of it," Dennis says. He plans to update the site soon with monthly books and prints for sale.

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3 Comments

  • Emerson Wilshier

    I'm sorry, but I just don't get this kind of exercise. This quasi-design movement of the minimalist-deconstruction of days-gone-by pop culture. It's all over the place. I find it nostalgic without being enlightening, self-indulgent, tediously referential and unspeakably dull to look at . How is this at all interesting? I don't mind people doing this kind of thing at home, but I don't know how it gets on to the interweb. I really don't.

  • Reading this allowed me to think of my daily interractions with color schemes to reflect how I feel at that point in time. I think it's a rather nifty thought process I'm not used to doing. Thank you for posting this article! Nice work Mr. Dennis. Your artistic talents has been affecting me for 16 years now. Keep up the good work.

    Eric Widstrand