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August 28th, 2017

Out of all the colours, blue is my favorite colour to grade because the blue spectrum is far more diverse and tasteful than other hues. Blue can bring out many emotions: it can feel fresh, it can feel cold, it can be bold. And by swinging the blue hue, it opens you up to many wonderful colours in the blue spectrum, as well as colour combinations.

Elgiganten

It is a complementary colour that goes well with warmer tones, which is why it's so important in an image as it can add separation. For example, in my recent grade for Elgiganten ‘Find Your Thing’ (Directed by Tim Erem of Diktator), blue was used throughout the spot to bring balance to the earthy tones. We eased a subtle amount of magenta into the shadows, so by popping certain blues, like the carpet of the Cat Lady or the walls of the Karate Kid, the blues brought harmony to the image.

Eligante Cat Lady

Also, by adding blue to the image, it will naturally make the skin tone jump out, creating more dimension to the image. A lot of the blue tones were there naturally in the art direction, so it gave me the ability to modify the prominence of the blue tones through the grade.

Eligante Karate

In my grade for the State Farm ‘Backstory’ campaign, I used the blue hues for a much more stylistic approach. Swinging the blue to almost beyond a cyan or teal, you can create quite a unique look when combined with greens of the trees and the saturated red car.

I received so much great feedback about the grade from the State Farm clients because the blue actually enhanced the State Farm red. The blue was the prominent colour in the spot, so when the red car and State Farm logo appear at the end of the film, they almost jump off the screen! In my opinion, it’s a sophisticated way of how colour can influence advertising, as well as making it looking original and unique.

Statefarm Car

The "taste" of blue can change over time depending on trends in culture. Cyan has been an extremely popular shade of blue, but I'm loving the approach of going further into a more of a green, or in the other direction, towards a hue I like to call 'Greek Blue'. Any colour blue can look nice when combined with the appropriate pallet to justify the set blue point. Often, it's what you do to the colours around the blue that can make for an interesting grade. If you set your blue and grade around that, you can achieve some beautiful images!

Take a look at Matt's reel here, and read more from Matt at mattcolor.com.