Colorful Job Application – How Would You Do?

When I was looking for an apprentice to learn my business, I developed a rather extensive application process. After interviewing the finalists, I felt I needed some further understanding of their native ability to formulate ideas in color and their grasp of the nuances of color. To that end, I created this simple color quiz. The results were delightful and I think you will appreciate the creativity shown.

This was the instruction: On a card no larger than 5″ x 5″ — illustrate five of the following. Do not use literal, recognizable objects like a coffee pot, a cat, etc. I would prefer you explain them figuratively using color contrasts, proportions, relationships, and shapes. They can be as simple or complex as you like. Capture the essence of the idea. Below are some of the applicant’s submittals.

Test Yourself: Match each graphics to the correct title in the list below.

  1. Tranquility
  2. Walk Through the Park
  3. Hula Girls
  4. Enjoyment
  5. The Blues
  6. Freezing Cold
  7. Creole Ju Ju
  8. Night Ride Home

Colorful Job Application - How Would You Do?

James Martin, CMG, is a leading authority on the use of color in architecture and is on the forefront of the colorist movement. He founded The Color People in 1979 designing color schemes for Victorian houses and his business has since evolved to include commercial and larger architectural projects, product color consulting, and international color design.

If you enjoyed this article, I think you will like my monthly newsletter. Subscribe instantly!

About Kate Smith, Chief Color Maven, Sensational Color
An internationally recognized color expert, Kate Smith is sought out for her unmatched ability to use color to gain recognition and generate revenue for her clients. Smith also teaches other design professionals how to be industry leaders and a go-to resource for their expertise. Let Kate show you how to become a Color Pro

Connect with Kate Blog - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn - Pinterest

Image credits: Clicking on any image will take you to its source unless otherwise noted.


  1. How do I find the answers?

Add Your Own Color Commentary