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Four Square Color Design

Updated on November 14, 2011

Four Square

Alternate title - Medicine Wheel.
Alternate title - Medicine Wheel. | Source

Hughes Design Create

Today's work is based on an image series that I started about two weeks ago. The first graphic depicts a square with the words BLUE, RED, GREEN, YELLOW printed against the same color backgrounds. The words are printed in contrasting colors to their background, and they don't match the color that they name! Four Square / Medicine Wheel is a very amusing piece of artwork by my standards. I also like the way that this piece, and the other pieces in this series, suggest the way that life just isn't what we'd like it to be at all times.

Another facet that these pieces suggest to me is that we are each, at times, out of synch with the mainstream; or that we want to rebel against the larger society. Admit it, it's true; in some way you are not like your neighbors, and you're proud of it too! I know that I am, if only in the hobbies that I pursue (like reading comics, or coin collecting). And at the same time, there are lots of other people pursuing those hobbies. It's not like I choose to use a thesaurus to come up with the most obscure names of colors for this piece, or the other pieces or titles in this series.


Yellow | Source


This is the original design idea, from which the other pieces emerged. Simple, straightforward, and like a politician, not really that way at all! It is not only a play on words and colors, but also represents human emotions of jealousy, anger, sadness and cowardice; as the different colors mentioned touch on those emotions. Why isn't there a color that's colloquially connected with bliss or happiness? White suggests purity, gold indicates nobility; other colors all seem to be connected with bitter or at best bittersweet emotions. Colors and emotions interact.

This piece and the next two are much funnier to me than the proceeding one. Four Square / Medicine Wheel takes a lot of mental concentration. Not with these three. They are just obviously out of place, poking fun at language and instantly so. If you'd like a design like this done with a certain color combination, please let me know.

Yellow One

Yellow One
Yellow One | Source

Yellow One

Very similar to Yellow, Yellow One utilizes the technique of placing the focus of the graphic (the word BLUE) off center in relation to the rest of the design. A simple technique, that adds interest to the composition. As the other elements remain the same there isn't that much more to say.

All these designs are all available on clothing, clocks, journals, stickers and so on over at CafePress. You can visit my store here. Also, I've had the chance to make quite a few designs in the last weeks and you can read about some of them here, and here. As always, I invite you to contact me if there is a specific design you have that you want executed.


Red | Source


Being that these are all part of a series the comments about this one are similar to what has gone before. I might also point out that all of these playfully suggest that our awareness isn't always right on point. How often have I called someone by the wrong name, or not been able to remember their name? How many times a day do I operate on "auto-pilot" brushing my teeth, making breakfast; or during countless other ordinary mundane tasks. If I'm more present to what is, then, perhaps I can more clearly see what is; and by extrapolation, these graphics underline that concept. Each one of them has a label that is wrong (in relation to the primary color of the graphic) on two counts. For instance, Red, is actually mostly pink in color. Additionally, there is the word ORANGE printed on it; also, obviously not pink. In addition to the two labels (Red - the title, and ORANGE - the printed word) there is also the fact that ORANGE is printed with purple ink (or pixels in this case). Again, it is not the main color (pink) of the canvas, and is so on. So, in this way these paintings are meant to playful remind each of us to stay present to our surroundings, our bodies and, ultimately, to our breath - the very canvas of life.

See you next time!

Thanks for stopping by, and reading about today's installment from Hughes Design/Create. I hope that you have found it interesting and entertaining. It is my hope that my art acts as a catalyst for change in everyone's life for the better. If you have any comments, suggestions, or complaints; please leave them in the comment center below.


What goes with an article like this? Wallmonkeys and Flash Cards!


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