It started with the color I wanted to paint the walls of my room with. Of course I wanted blue. But something not too blue. I ended up choosing a very icy aquamarine (as noted by the man who did the painting), but continued to be fascinated by the remote regions of cyan.
Then I discovered Tiffany Blue and its reputation of all things luxurious and romantic. It is Tiffany & Co.‘s official color (Pantone Matching System number 1837, the founding year of the company!), whose petite boxes contain strands of silver and drops of diamonds. Though for me, having the cute boxes would be enough.
More than that, Tiffany Blue is unlike other colors associated with famous companies. Coca-Cola red is just plain old red; it could very well be the same red of McDonald’s, Lego, or Ferrari. Tiffany’s ability to build a brand around a color was so successful that American Express more or less imitated it:
Many years ago, I remember Paul Rand telling me about a project he was working on for American Express. He created a series of sketches to demonstrate potential color variations for their platinum credit card, and one of them was instantly recognizable—almost jarringly so—as the trademark aquatic blue of Tiffany & Co. It seemed kind of sneaky, this notion of using a color that so instantly conjured the identity of another company: but that, Mr. Rand assured me, was exactly the point. Tiffany blue said expensive, rich, elite: to cue the audience through the inflection of this particular shade was genius.
Into the Pink by Jessica Helfand
Armed with that delight over such a color, I created a Sandbox Design in February, on a whim, named Tiffany Blue (of course). For the unfamiliar, Sandbox is a platform for creating themes in WordPress. Rather than starting from scratch, the theme author only needs to touch the CSS—much like the concept of the CSS Zen Garden—because all the template files and functions have been created.
A few months after I learned that a Sandbox Designs Competition would take place. I decided I would enter my Sandbox theme just for the fun of it. The deadline was last July 29.
Out of 46 entries, Tiffany Blue emerged as a runner-up! Which was a bit surprising, because when I inspected the live preview of my design, I saw several problems I hadn’t anticipated, like nested sidebar items and numerous page tabs. (I immediately tweaked the CSS locally and scolded myself for being careless.)
Congratulations to all the winners and participants! My bets took the top spots, so I’m glad. I hope more people design using Sandbox; it’s good fun and a great way to learn CSS.
For now I’ll leave you with the “official” opening of Stellify’s test lab blog: Asterisk. It originally had generic content, during which I created the black design for Stellify.net, but now I’ve transformed it into a meme blog so that it won’t be stagnant.