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.


  1. How do I find the answers?