Laura Perryman | Colour of Saying
First published as Life in Colour for Block
When Laura Perryman visited us at Home, Olympia and handed us a business card in yellow neon we immediately knew that we had met a kindred spirit.
Laura's expertise in trend forecasting, material research, product design and art direction enables her to guide businesses in making successful and considered aesthetic choices. Next week, Laura will be giving a Masterclass at Top Drawer's Academy Live and we can't wait to hear her thoughts on intelligent, colour-led design decisions.
Now founder and creative director consultant of colour and materials consultancy Colour of Saying, Laura's own story of design began with her studies, first in Printed Textiles at Loughborough University and then at the RCA in London. ‘I always had a love for materials’, she says, ‘and worked with contemporary technologies and hard surfaces. This lent well to start a career designing for performance textiles, consumer electronics and automotive applications.’ Laura has an intriguing portfolio, having worked with brands as diverse as Nokia, Toyota, Speedo and Habitat. ‘This’, she says, ‘has given me a unique understanding of colour, material and surface application across multiple industries on a commercial level.’
Having worked for three years at Global Color Research as Director of Colour Consultancy Projects, Laura now uses insight and trend forecasting, as well as her expertise in colour and material techniques and technologies, to guide businesses in making successful and considered aesthetic choices. Speaking about the influence of trends on the objects we choose to buy, Laura sums up the importance of her work: ‘Anticipating what’s next is imperative for any company to stay ahead when working in industries where aesthetics and tactility is the first thing that consumers engage with.’
Working with such diverse businesses must mean that Laura often has to park her personal taste and consider colour in an objective fashion. With this in mind, we asked the Colour and Materials Designer to share some of her own favourite items and to reveal her own Life in Colour.
1. Colour Book
This book is a personal continual diary of colour that I’ve gathered and recorded for inspiration from collected finds, painted swatches to screen printed fabrics and materials. The book is a journal and a process, developing over 10 years + from learning how to mix colour for the first time to making collections for design projects. This book documents a journey of learning, mixing colours by eye, translating the shades into dye recipes for textiles and the action of applying them to materials. This is basically where I started as a designer; I’d be lost without it!
2. Coloured Finds
In the job that I do I often have to find interesting ways of displaying and communicating colour for different clients. On this occasion I had to find lots of eclectic finds and dip them in paint colours that represented the trend palettes. I’ve still kept them today, as I love the spontaneous marks and the proportions of colour and material. They sit on a shelf in my living room.
I’m obsessed by processes and I love working with certain material to explore colour. I often make original colour reference samples as part of my approach to colour consultancy. Therefore my clients get something completely unique to their brand. Glaze is a collection of ceramic samples I created, which apply washes of colour with subtle surface patterning techniques. I love the way the green transitions into the natural clay tone. I always have them to hand as a reference as materials change when colour is applied; texture, tone and finishes are fundamentally altered.
4. Espalier Tiles by Daniel Heath
A set of slate tiles in my house, which I love and are one of my favourite objects, are designed and made by my husband Daniel Heath. I love the timeworn natural colour of the slate, as it changes in the light from purple to dark brown. He etches his hand drawn illustrations onto the surface, and as the materials are reclaimed they come with their own patina. The designs add to this and gently they age together but also extend the life of the material.