color crushes

New Month, New Mood board: Pink, Blue & White
August 1st, 2011

We probably spend way too much time on our mood boards at J. Falkner. Maybe it’s our background in magazine design, but we are constantly tweaking the scale and the colors to arrive at the right ‘mood’.

This summer, we are cooled by the combination of a rose-petal pink and a cerulean blue, like the chic Celine outfit (top right). We also noticed how much fresher everything looks with a crisp white border — whether it be the collar and cuffs on the blue, or the white ‘jackets required’ sign from the famously pink Lyford Cay Club in the Bahamas. Isn’t it better with the white grid? It’s one reason we like to sit our cards in a frame of white (for example, our flamingo).

And check out the Florida style 1920s pavilion (lower left): a maze of white lines in the ceiling and the furniture brings such air and light into the room. The pair of birds sitting on cherry blossoms, from the lobby of a swanky apartment building in Honolulu, are another delightful example of dusty pink and white. And the lovely folded bedding on the white shelves is from Canvas.

* Sources: Town & Country (April 2011), House Beautiful (March 2011), Vogue,,

Color crush: Aqua
June 28th, 2011

It’s no secret we love color here at J. Falkner. We seem to spend an inordinate amount of time gazing at our pantone book, considering this shade of blue or that shade of green. One color we always return to is Aqua. You might see turquoise, or celadon, or green-blue — but we like to call it Aqua, which conveys that beautiful shimmery color of water on a summer’s day.

We have a favorite little vase — which you’ll see in the picture above — that has followed us over the years from London, to New York and now Palm Beach: its wonderful color and glaze delights us every time we see it.

We love aqua because it is a color that plays well with others. Consider it with chocolate brown; this is a pairing we’ve used on a number of our cards (for example, the elephant and balloon icons). It also works well with a crisp white, but it’s surprisingly effective with orange, too. There are very few colors that aren’t enhanced by aqua, which is why it’s become one of our go-to colors at J. Falkner.

And here’s an interesting bit of color history: for the better half of the last millenium, the sea was portrayed in western art as green. It was only from the early 1500s, due to the new popularity of the Virgin Mary and her signature blue, that artists started interpreting the seas and oceans as the blue we recognize as standard today.

* Aqua: our pantone reference is 573.

Stunning Sonia Delaunay Show in NY
June 5th, 2011

The exhibition posterA detail shot to see the vibrant color play

Before I left New York after the Stationery Show, I ran uptown to catch the Sonia Delaunay show at the Cooper Hewitt. It was revelatory. All those beautiful pulsating colors. Delaunay was a Russian artist who settled in France and whose most popular medium was in textiles. She adored color and believed it was ‘the skin of the world’. A principle of her art was ‘Simultaneity’ … which was the sensation of movement caused by putting certain colors together. Sounds complicated, but look at how her patterns come to life and you immediately see what she was getting at.

Personally I was struck by how modern & unexpected her color combinations were: lime & grey – royal blue, black & red – deep navy with lime and orange accents. 80 years ago she was right on today’s trend of color blocking in fashion. Truly inspirational stuff – so don’t be too surprised if you see some Delaunay-worthy color combos popping up in our next collection of cards!

If you miss the show, there’s a great book you can amazon – Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay.