In this section, you will find articles about the use of color within various industries. Click on the RSS icon to the subscribe to our Color Articles feed in your newsreader.
[Notice] ColorCombos is looking for guest contributors. If you would like to publish an original, quality article related to color and your craft or industry, ColorCombos would love to publish it and link your by line back to your website. Contact Us
From its early identification with the Germanic root words "grass" and "grow," the color green has been associated with life, renewal and hope. Because in the natural, we are surrounded by a world of green trees, grass and meadows, the human eye feels very comfortable with this color and all its many shades. In fact, green not only dominates nature but also takes up the most space in the color spectrum that is visible to the eye. Its calming familiarity makes it the perfect backdrop or background for daily living, working and playing.
Since Pantone named Emerald its new Color of the Year, green has been receiving extra attention from both fashion and interior designers. Sexy, deep-green cocktail dresses and elegant jewel-tone evening gowns are currently in demand, but cheery, brightly patterned cotton sundresses and lime-green accessories and shoes are also showing up in department stores. When just one statement accessory is desired, an apple-green handbag is a perfect solution. Because this color works equally well with white, brown, gray or black outfits, there is no need to be continually switching purses.
Interior decorators love green because it doesn't shout for attention. Rather, it is comfortable providing a neutral background for a variety of regional and seasonal styles. For example, Benjamin Moore's Aganthus Green 472 is a mossy shade that is ideal for grounding other colors. Powerful corals, reds, blues or browns will feel right at home against such a gentle, backdrop. Similarly, Farrow and Ball's Stone White 11 is so quiet, the casual observer may not be able to tell if it is actually gray, green or taupe. To add some tropical or spring energy and excitement to a room, consider Benjamin Moore's Chic Lime 396. Paired with clean white, yellow or black, this fun color breathes life back into any space.
It was probably the ancient Egyptians who first introduced the world to the product we know today as cake. Baked primarily for religious ceremonies, this early creation bore little resemblance to the elaborately decorated and colorful confections we enjoy today. In fact, it was more like a honey-sweetened fruit-bread. Medieval versions were used as centerpieces for the tables of European aristocracy, but it was not until sugar became more readily available that French chefs popularized the idea of actually serving iced, sweetened cakes to guests who dined at their tables.
Because of their early cultural and religious significance, cakes have always played an important role at any commemorative event, and that has not changed. Today, colorful cakes are the focal point of weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, retirement parties, showers, graduations and holiday festivities. Decorating styles and icing colors continue to change slightly each year, but the perfectly decorated cake always blends into the overall decorating scheme of each special event.
According to Dawn Hodapp, former lead baker for Sun Valley Resorts, a soft, neutral color on a clean, simple cake shape is a sophisticated look for formal occasions. Picture stacked layers of a square cake in gentle grays or silver and adorned with pearls, pink flowers, and delicate ruffles. For a more dramatic effect, how about adding some black scroll work? Is black icing ever appropriate for a special occasion? Actually, black is one of the new trendy colors, especially for 2013 black-and-white weddings. Such cakes create a dramatic statement at the reception. Pairing black with a soft pink, gray or even a chocolate brown tones it down slightly.
Recently, the Indian tradition of Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, was celebrated around the world. Wherever there are large Hindu populations, these joyous and sometimes raucous days of parades, bonfires, music and meals are always highlighted by the throwing of colored powders and the spraying of colored water. Although the holiday tradition originated in India and Nepal, the faithful of Bangladesh and Pakistan also participate. Even Hindu populations in the United Kingdom and the United States join in on the fun. Not-surprisingly, many non-Hindus canít resist the colorful mayhem that accompanies this celebration. In big cities such as Houston, Austin, Washington and New York City, the attendance continues to grow each year.
One Indian tradition says that Holika, the wicked sister of King Hiranyakashipu, and the kingís son were placed together on a pyre, which was then lit. While the evil aunt was consumed by the fire, the innocent young boy survived. Hence, a commemorative bonfire is built from old wood and leaves each year and ignited late on the first night of Holi. This is also an occasion to burn away the old residue of winter and to celebrate the new life and rebirth the world experiences as spring finally arrives. In fact, Holi was probably an agricultural festival in ancient times. The green powders thrown on people symbolize vitality, fertility, happiness and life.
Holi also commemorates a second tradition, the love between Lord Krishna and his soul mate, Radna. Apparently, he was given permission to color her fair face to make her appear darker. He also loved playing with and splashing young maidens with water. Red, the dominant color of the holiday reminds participants of love and passion. As in the United States, sensuality and energy are symbolized by this color. However, in India, red is also the color of purity and a popular choice for weddings.
Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday, is fast approaching, and for most American children, the prospect of enjoying colorful Easter candy is usually part of the celebration. Whether presented in brightly decorated baskets or hidden around the yard, Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, Peeps, jellybeans and other sugary delights appeal to kids of all ages.
Part of the fun of Easter is decorating hard-boiled eggs. Because eggs were originally part of the forbidden meat and dairy products during the 40 days of Lent, they were always joyously welcomed back to the table on Easter Sunday. Pastel colors differentiated this holiday from Christmas and celebrated the arrival of the soft hues of spring. Today, however, all colors are welcome as long as some traditional decorations are included. Each Easter color has significance in keeping with the religious traditions behind the celebration:
The wait is over. The new color choice for 2013 has been announced. Say hello to Pantone 17-5641 Emerald. This calm and sophisticated hue will be a welcome contrast to the high-energy Tangerine Tango of 2012. Sitting miles apart on the color wheel, emerald green creates an entirely new feel and anticipation for things to come. Since green has traditionally been associated with life, energy, rebirth and well-being, this positive color is full of hope and expectancy for better things ahead.
Perhaps its positive attributes explain why emerald green has been such a popular color for more than 4,000 years. Deep green gemstones were known and sold in ancient Babylon. They were mined in Upper Egypt and made into favorite jewelry pieces for Cleopatra. Aristotle believed that owning a brilliant green emerald would improve one's business, health and general opportunities for success. The Incas worshiped this powerful stone they found hidden in deep in the mountains.
The favorite choice of both royalty and celebrities, emerald green gems can be found in the Russian crown jewels and several of Queen Elizabeth's pieces. Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Sharon Stone all received beautiful engagement rings featuring emerald green centerpieces. Sparkling green seems rich and luxurious when surrounded by glittering diamonds.