Color Impact 2023 was a great success. These pages are left here for archival purposes.

We hope to see you at a future Color Council meeting! Our next conference in June 2025.

June 11-15, 2023

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA

Presenter - Udo Schliemann

Udo Schliemann, Graphic Designer and Principal Creative Director

Color as a tool to identify and attract people to community and art centers.

In my topic I show the relationship between colour in branding, signage and building identification for cultural centres, like community hubs or art centres and the people of the neighbourhood with mostly immigrant or lower income backgrounds. Color is used to 'speak' to these groups in ways that traditional media is not able to do. However, color allows people to engage and identify with a building or program to create a sense of home and inclusion. It is therefore a unique tool for place-making and place-keeping.

I will reference examples from my work as Principal Creative Director at Entro Communications in Toronto, a leading studio for branding, wayfinding and experiential design. The examples will feature the design of Artscape Daniels Spectrum, a community hub as the heart of the largest redevelopment project in North America, Regent Park in Downtown Toronto, as well as the Weston Commons, another community hub in Toronto, the Weston Common Learning Centre - the educational part of the Art Gallery of Ontario, and Canalside identity in Buffalo. Other projects might be added if applicable. Especially since the pandemic, the lack of places to hang out and to reach out to people, places that foster real encounters, became obvious. Indirectly, color helps to overcome loneliness and resulting from that social and mental disorders.

The takeaways for the audience is to demonstrate the use of color as a communication tool to attract, lower the threshold anxiety to enter a building and to create an identity that users can associate with. Color breaks the 'greyness' of urban design and reaches people in mysterious ways.


With 41 years of experience as Graphic Designer, Udo is leading a team of designers at Entro Communications in Toronto. A native of Germany, Udo came to Toronto to join Gottschalk+Ash in 1999. In June 2011, just after chairing the annual SEGD international design conference in Montreal, Udo joined Entro as Principal Creative Director.

Udo’s work has focused on integrated signage and placemaking programs for cultural institutions, e.g. for the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Weston Family Learning Centre at the AGO, the ROM and currently for the Perelman Centre of Performing Arts in New York. His work has received numerous awards like the Red Dot Award, SEGD Awards, Applied Arts and Grand Prix du Design Awards.

Udo was trained and mentored by designer and artist Anton Stankowski in Germany which has influenced his work as a designer and his work as an artist. In 2017, Udo was elected to become a member of the distinguished Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Often, his designs include an artistic element that elevates a program or installation beyond the pure functional and utilitarian aspect.

The Inter-Society Color Council advances the knowledge of color as it relates to art, science, industry and design.
Each of these fields enriches the others, furthering the general objective of color education.


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