Hairdressing and Graphic Design

Last weekend I visited Colour World UK with my sister. Colour World Uk is an event that welcomes hundreds of colourists to an event designed specially for hairdressers of all ages and stages. The event focuses on inspiration, learning techniques (by watching accomplished colourists at work), and sharing ideas to grow a colour business.

My sister Katie is one of the most talented, focused and knowledgeable hairdresser of her age you’ll ever meet. To keep up to date and to maintain this fantastic skill set she frequently goes to events and talks throughout the year. As as any good sister would, I accompany her.

These events are an absolute joy for a graphic designer to attend, especially when discussing the process and the technicalities of colouring.

Many of us at university are told, design does not live in a bubble. You must engage with other things in life to become a more well rounded designer. This becomes easier said than done when you’re interested in beautiful type, colours and layout. However if you look hard enough you will find that you can gain so much from talks/events/visits that you would not instantly think have any connection to graphic design.

Vidal Sassoon

On Sunday the lecture that inspired me the most was by Edward Darley –
UK Colour Director from Vidal Sassoon. Incase you’re reading this and have no idea who Vidal Sassoon is here is a brief history.

Vidal Sassoon was a male hair dresser in 50’s and is possibly the single most influential hairdresser – ever. He was a forward thinking hairdresser who took inspiration from the Bauhaus movement. This inspiration and cross over between architecture eventually created one of Vidal Sassoon’s most iconic hair cut – the asymmetric bob


Vidal’s process and values are heavily installed into his team and this was very apparent during Edward Darley’s lecture .

Colour Theory

Darley spoke about the use of colour theory and how this knowledge can allow you use colour to create shape and balance within hairstyles.

By referencing the likes of Johannes Itten and his most famous book ‘The Art of Colour’, the lecture instantly became accessible to anyone who uses or deals with colour. It is easy to forget that not only graphic designers deal with colour, therefore was pleasantly surprised and fascinated that there was this strong connection between hair and design.

Throughout the talk Darley spoke convincingly about colour theory with real life examples. Not only did I learn and reinforce my exsisting knowledge surrounding colour theory, I also was reminded how to important it is to be great at public speaking. Darely spoke with such passion and integrity that it was impossible to leave the room without feeling inspired.

This was just one of the many inspiring talks from throughout the day, there were plenty of discussions and presentations that looked at collections, the ideas behind them and the creative process. All of these events relate back to design; we all use ideas and have a creative process the only difference is the medium.

Even if you are not interested in the subject of hair, listening to those who are speak and discuss hair with confidence and creativity can only benefit you as a designer.


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