Special Issue: J of Design History: “Colour” (Dec 2011)

Deadline for submissions: 1 December 2011
Direct enquiries to jdh@genesys-consultants.com
Website: http://www.jdh.oxfordjournals.org

Colour is a major aspect of design practice that has a long, tumultuous history.  It has been the subject of countless publications and exhibitions about visual culture, symbolism, science, fashion, and aesthetic meaning.  By contrast, this special issue of the Journal of Design History focuses on the work of colour practitioners, rather than on the colours themselves.

Today, colour standards and colour forecasts are so ubiquitous that they are taken for granted, their chaotic history forgotten.  But the technical and cultural challenges of colour perplexed the practical men of the industrial era and inspired design theorists from Chevreul to Owen Jones to Le Corbusier.  Over the course of the twentieth century, colour was standardized according to Taylorist principles and rational colour practice was added to the designer’s toolkit.  Practitioners debated the compatibility of rational standards and the creative needs of the style and fashion industries.

This special issue seeks papers on the historical aspects of colour and design practice that are based on original research in designers’ archives and other historical records, artefact collections, and oral histories.

Topics include but are not limited to the following themes:

  • Histories of colour in retailing, advertising, graphic design, and branding
  • The relationships and tensions among colour science, colour technologies, and colour as a design practice
  • Critical biographies or case studies of key practitioners, corporations, industrial designers, fashion designers, consulting firms, or professional associations involved in colour theory, colour styling, colour forecasting, or colour management
  • The role of consumers in usurping corporate definitions of colour practice and offering new uses or interpretations
  • The practice of colour forecasting as it evolved in different locales, cultures, and historical moments, and its relationship to design futures
  • The transnational transfer and global circulation of colour theories and practices
  • Colour in the fashion and beauty industries
  • The impact of new technologies (e.g. colorimetry or digitalization) on colour in the design professions and in the fashion industries
  • Colour, patriotism and national identity
  • Colour in architecture, and at trade fairs and world’s fairs
  • The communicative aspects of colour in local, regional, national, and global discourses.

Please forward enquiries to jdh@genesys-consultants.com. Submissions should be in the form of full papers of up to 8,500 words that adhere to the guidelines of the Journal of Design History along with an abstract of 300-400 words and a brief biography of up to 250 words. They should be submitted online via the Journal’s website, http://www.jdh.oxfordjournals.org, by 1 December 2011.

Papers for special issues will be subject to the usual double-blind refereeing and selection procedures of the Journal of Design History.


About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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