OMBRE [AHM′ -bray]: graduated or shaded tones of color

NAME ombre on blackI stumbled across the word ombre when working with my graphic designer, Brent Bachelder,from Club Neopolsi Designs,  who is an amazing artist in Providence.   He is helping me design logos for a new website for my writing, inclusive of this blog and all of the other ways in which I am exercising my writing skills. You will see the name he has designed regularly in a few days when we are ready to go online with the whole thing.

My daughter,who is acting as my IT person, kept using this word, ombre, as if I should know what it meant.  I finally overcame my reluctance to admit my ignorance and asked what she was talking about.   It turns out that this is a design word which relates to the concept of graduating colors, as in today’s illustration.  It goes (from the left) from yellow to muted yellow to muted green to more pronounced green.

If you attempt to look up the word  ombre online, be prepared to have a tutorial on hair fashion.  It seems that this is the medium in which ombre is most used today.  Women (and men) have their hair colored in a graduated manner, sometimes starting with a more muted color at the tips and increasing in intensity to the roots (or vice-versa.)   I’ve seen women in public places with such designs, and they are eye-catching.  I’m not saying I necessarily give them high grades…I’m just indicating that it does catch my attention.

It’s amazing how technology has found its way into such things as design.   When I look at the image Brent has designed for me I’m fascinated with the complexity of its creation.  Yet, it is not all that difficult.  If you are as talented as he is as an artist, it is just a matter of pushing some buttons and watching it appear on the screen in front of you.  I make that sound like anybody could do it.  But I’m happy to pay Brent Bachelder to do it, recognizing his talent which gives him the ability to imagine what it is going to look like before it happens.

Ombre, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is “French past participle of ombrer, to shade ; from Classical Latin umbrare ; from umbra, shade.”  In graphic design there are many ways to show shading, but ombre distinguishes itself by demonstrating colors that move quickly through variations in one setting.   I suppose you could line up letters of my name, using various shades of colors for each letter.   But the concept of merging them, even within one letter, is what is distinctive to ombre, as if light is scanning over the words. What transpires is a visual effect of movement, as opposed to static placement.  There is energy in the finished product.

I hope that my new website (soon to be introduced) will do just that…demonstrate energy and progress.


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