Brooklyn design duo Wade and Leta are out to show how design can be more fun. A married couple, Wade Jeffree and Leta Sobierajski "do almost everything together". Their work brings together graphic design, web design, photography, art direction and branding.
Wade and Leta created the Chromatic Joy sculptures - imagined architecture celebrating the colour and ambitions of Chromatic Joy.
"Our goal is to ignite a sensation for the viewer that is optimistic yet also leaves them with a sense of joy. Ultimately it is our way we describe our work: as visual music. Similar in concept to audible music, everything we look at and engage with has its own rhythm. Through the use of multiple mediums ranging from photography, wall reliefs, inflatables and a virtual reality experience, we encourage everyone to enter a world of insatiable optimism and explosive color."
As a collaborative partnership do you both respond to colour or use colour in the same way?
Colour is an incredibly optimistic component of our work. We’ve worked together for nearly seven years now and during that time we have always agreed that colour is a vessel for joy. We’re beginning to suspect that we may occasionally perceive colour differently, but psychologically, we are very much on the same page. It’s marvelous to observe how every human being is able to perceive colour in a slightly different perspective due to background, exposure and relationship, but at the root of it, our intentions with colour are the same as every other person’s intentions—pure, unfiltered, untainted chromatic pleasure. Despite whether one of us sees an orange as red or red as orange, we both see colour as vessels for joy—they’re a key component of our work’s emotional triggering and we’re extremely considerate of when and for what purpose they are used.
Your use of colour is very confident, how did you build up to that?
We treat colour as much of a medium in our work as the materials we choose to manipulate. Whether we’re working in wood, metal, paper, or clay, we treat colour with the same care in learning to understand the nature of its tangibility and its lasting effects. With every project, we want to fully understand the components of what we’re working with, and colour is no exception to that rule. When we design, our choice of colour comes at the very beginning of the process, allowing us to justify the emotion we’re aiming to trigger in whatever we’re creating. The larger the palette, the greater the fun! We want to make things that look striking and draw attention from far distances. We aspire to create visual vibrations that resonate with those who feel bold enough to look a little closer.
we encourage EVERYONE to enter A world of insatiable optimism and explosive coloUr.
Do you envisage a design in colour or in shades of grey, what do you see in your mind when you are designing, colours or shapes or both?
For us, colour comes right at the beginning. When we draw a container, we consider what goes inside. To be honest, greyscale is a pretty rare sight in our studio! We tend to think about our chromatic emotions simultaneously with our figurative ones, and so the physicality of our work is often designed with colour in mind. The fluidity of the shapes we tend to draw can inform the positivity of the palette we will then determine. The only instances in which we tend to use grey scale are when we procedurally evaluate color intensity and contrast—in cases like this, we may convert our patterns to grey scale to clarify that the relationships we’re aspiring to create remain justifiable when we remove saturation.
Studies have shown that while people are reluctant to use colour once they do they are very happy with the result, how do you think we can get more people to use colour in their homes?
Experimentation is key! The beauty about paint is that it is temporary. We’ve gotten very bold with our apartment’s wall colours in the past two years, but it has taken us several small steps to achieve our own personal chromatic joy. Painting a wall doesn’t need to be a permanent thing, and can change just as easily as the seasons shift. With so many beautiful colours at our disposal, we find it rather difficult to simply settle for white. colour AND white though? That’s a completely different story!
Do you have any rules you adhere to when using colour, how do you limit a palette?
When selecting palettes, we’ll evaluate factors such as high contrast complementary colours which constitute colours at opposite ends of the colour spectrum. The radical opposition these colours share creates intriguing vibrations that challenge us to find similar relationships that can work in harmony. We evaluate the temperatures of these colours, careful to ensure that our palette never dips too deep into the cool side or, on the contrary, heats too high on warm. A perfect palette for us gives the eye a bit of a workout, exercising the right amount of visual vibration, equally hot and cold, and is often decorated with a high contrast pattern. While we don’t have a limit to the amount of colours in our palette, we tend to ensure that each hue has its own match. Ideally when we build palettes, we’ll incorporate pairings (since no colour ever tends to sit on its own) which we can use prescriptively when we’re in production.