The suitability and choice of eyeglasses don’t come down to one factor – it’s a matrix of multiple factors: width, depth, nose bridge shape, width, style, and image, etc….. it goes on.
Usually, I select eyeglass frames with the client at the frame shop. But, recently my client, Greg, asked me to give him guidance digitally, using a well-known online frame store: Warby Parker.
To do this without him physically trying on the frames, I took my intuitive process and analyzed it in parts, then, painted possible frame shapes onto a photograph of my client. It took a great deal more time to do it this way, but it turned out to be a great opportunity for breaking into parts analytically what is usually an intuitive process for me.
This is first of a series of posts about my process, starting with today’s discussion about the very broadest considerations, and then in parts 2 and 3 I’ll zoom in and give you more specific insights to think about that will help you with your own eyeglass frame selection process.
Typically I select frames based on these considerations:
1. The client’s dominant Seasonal archetype, i.e., Winter, Autumn, Spring or Summer. Each Seasonal archetype carries a different overall aesthetic direction, which is why it’s important to know what your dominant season is.
2. The dominant Style archetype, i.e., Elegant, Traditional, Sporty, Magnetic, Dramatic, Creative, or Romantic. This is about the message you want to communicate, using your dominant style as the vocabulary.
3. The design qualities of the face.
My client, Greg, is a Pewter Autumn seasonal sub-type who coaches professional speakers. As an accomplished businessman and leader in his community, he is wearing eyeglass frames that make him look friendly and somewhat innovative. Not a bad choice if his dominant goal is to attract and engage others.
But, if Greg wants people to know that he can get the job done and is at the top of his field of expertise, the style he’s wearing in the photo above communicates “friendly” not “powerful, commanding, and masterful” at what he does. My responsibility is to take him from appearing too soft and friendly and guide him to present more like an expert business coach who is also approachable. During his style analysis, Greg was clear about what he wanted, and as an older gentleman, knows himself and what he wants. Together we decided that dominant Sporty style turned with his second style Dramatic would best support him in sending this message.
In the next post, I’ll show you the progression of frame shapes and styles that I tried in my process to find the right shaped frame for Greg that compliments his face and sends the intended message of who he is and what he wants.
May the colors be with you,
Master Color Designer and Style Guide