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Friday, May 27, 2016

Pursue a career as a Colour Consultant!

Colour Special

By Team IAnD
Photography: Courtesy Freedom Tree Design
Read Time: 3 mins

NCS Workshop
NCS Workshop

Do you thrive on dynamism? Are you totally passionate about novelty being food for the soul? Would you like to pursue a career as a Colour Consultant? Latika Khosla tells you how…

International colour and trend forecaster,  Mumbai-based Latika Khosla is renowned for her very knowledgeable and hands-on insights into the world of colour.

Latika Khosla
Latika Khosla

A versatile personality, Latika Khosla branches out portraying many roles such as Design Director of Freedom Tree Design: a colour and trend studio based in Mumbai, India; founder-organizer of Colours India: a cross-industry open-sharing platform, where designers meet and discuss trends for the Indian marketplace; founder director of Freedom Tree a home brand, which celebrates modern India and as a vibrant design destination with stores in Goa and Mumbai; and past board member of the Colour Marketing Group USA - the premier international organization, whose major focus is to identify the direction of colour and design trends. 

She is also the India Director for the Pan Pacific Fashion Colour Conference, a forecasting body for south East Asia. Freedom Tree is closely associated with the NCS, the Natural Colour System an International colour standard and their institute, based in Sweden.

Car Interiors Suggestions
Car Interiors Suggestions

Latika has worked with brands in technology and transportation, paint and cosmetics, office systems and home stores, creating colour design strategies, providing high quality analytical skills and understanding complex projects; regularly conducting trend/colour workshops and contributing trend reports to various publications for forward-looking analysis of the leading edge of consumer choice, all this and more under the banner ‘Freedom Tree’. 

What she enjoys most is the time spent in training and sharing design approaches and colour education with students, enthusiasts, professionals and brands.

Studio working on Freedom Tree collection
Studio working on Freedom Tree collection

Latika Khosla in conversation with IAnD:
IAnD: What prompted you to pursue a career in colour consultation?
LK: Design education at my alma mater, NID is about problem solving. In a more and more complex world, we are constantly required to decode signals. And more often than not there is a need to enhance our living style. At work, at home, when we travel or when we rest. Colour is one of the most emotive and plastic tools of expression. You do not need to know language (to understand colour), it could please you, excite you, change your mood, and I wanted to really understand that logic and to work as a colour consultant for brands. My final thesis, at NID, was about understanding colour for need states and home application. So it is a subject that has engaged me from the very beginning.  

Natraj International pack design
Natraj International pack design
NCS Workshop & Freedom Tree Studio at work
NCS Workshop & Freedom Tree Studio at work

IAnD: With more than three decades in the field, what is that one thing you wish you could have learnt as a student, which should have been part of your initial years?
LK: The one thing I could have learnt as a student was a system of colour. The world is very different now, with information and access to a whole amount of information and colour courses. I now work with the NCS colour system - an international colour system based out of Sweden. In fact, I am a trainer in this across the world. For professionals and teachers! It is the must-have tool for designers and colourists for all manner of design. It is measurable and takes the subjectivity out of colour specification.  

Godrej CMF
Godrej CMF
FAB India pack design
FAB India pack design


IAnD: Some do’s and don’ts that you could share with a student aspiring to pursue colour consultancy?
LK: (a) Do not think that ‘colour’ is about the indiscriminate use of vivid hues. It's the black and white in colour that matters! Puzzling is it? But really, it is how light and harmonious colours are, or how they match in nuance that makes for great colour schemes and applications.
(b) All colours are beautiful. There are no right and wrong colours. People create ugliness with misuse. It is the purpose for which we use them. It is the proportion in which we use them, which makes them right.
(c) When pursuing colour design as a profession, do not think it is like a colour picker…..you point and choose colours that you like. Take ‘like’ out of the equation. As a colour designer you are designing for others. Good colours are those that work well and are profitable for brands!

Freedom Tree_RETRO MODERN LUSH LIVING look
Freedom Tree_RETRO MODERN LUSH LIVING look 
Freedom Tree_BOHEMIAN WONDERLAND look
Freedom Tree_BOHEMIAN WONDERLAND look 


IAnD: Three tips to succeed at being a foresighted colour consultant?
LK: (a) Be inspired. Be on the lookout for inspiration from everywhere. From the mundane to the marvellous. The colour behind a door in an alley, nail polish gloss on a co-worker, asteroids and images filmed by the microscope… these are everyday wonders that go unseen.
(b) Look beyond colour. Immerse yourself in the zeitgeist of the time. Are people wanting to shut down and get off the grid? Are they pursuing green living practices? Is the mood of the moment futuristic? The seeds of the future are sown in the time of today. Be very sensitive to social changes, economic highs and lows and climatic shifts.
(c) Don't think colour first. Put that ‘colour-picker’ away. Articulate the need in terms of words. If colour is a language that everyone understands, you have to be saying the right things!





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