Tag Archives: Leeds

What colour is your city?


I came across an interesting blog by Tom Wolley – a freelance illustrator based in West Yorkshire who specialises in illustrated maps and hand lettering – who developed an illustrated colour may of Leeds (which happens to be where I live). What is particularly interesting is that Tom describes his process somewhat. It is well worth looking at and I think his final design (shown above) is rather nice. The yellows and blues are derived from the classical colours of Leeds and Yorkshire although somewhat more muted.

It makes me think. Are certain colours associated with places? Or even with districts? A recent paper by Willem Coetzee and Norbert Haydam at CAUTH 2016 (The Changing Landscape of Tourism and Hospitality: The Impact of Emerging Markets and Emerging Destinations) looked at this. Their paper was called – Colour association test as a target market analysis technique at an emerging destination – an exploratory study. They used colour association as a market analysis technique to measure tourism demand in a small town. The results indicated that different segments of the market had different associations of colour for the same destination.

different views of Leeds


This year I hosted two Italian students as part of a European project. Silvia and Enrico both had the most fantastic design skills and both undertook projects about how to promote or represent a city – in their case, the city of Leeds where I work at the University of Leeds.

Here are two videos they produced at the end of their work here.

And here is a small diary about their time here in Leeds – http://colourdocks.wordpress.com/

Shades of grey – novel

It was nice to stroll into Leeds today and see all the green grass after all this snow we have had. All I have seen for the last 3-4 weeks is white – or rather, shades of grey as the snow melted, refroze and melted etc. So speaking of shades of grey, I came across a novel today in Waterstones of that very name – Shades of grey by Jasper Fforde – published in Dec 09. This novel is a sci-fi vision of the future where democracy has been replaced by colourtocracy; a social hierarchy based on your colour vision. Sounds interesting but it could take me some weeks to read it so if anyone has read it please reply to this post with a brief review.

Notice how the cover has red, yellow and blue on it. A further indication that the notion of red, yellow and blue as the primary colours is well and truly embedded in the general consciousness of the population (whether it is true or not that these are the primaries!).

Out of interest, I also bought The rain before it falls by Jonathan Coe (I love everything by this author) and Gateway by Frederik Pohl. Not of colour interest … but could be good reads.