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Top 10 Little-Known Facts About Color

Humans are surrounded by color every day, both in the natural and in the manufactured environment. Sometimes colors can stand out, and sometimes they fade into the background. It can be easy to take color for granted without thinking much about its full effect or how it works. So here are ten tidbits about colors that you may not know.

10 pigments with colorful stories

10 10 million colors

If someone had asked you how many colors exist, what would you say? Well, it turns out that the human eye can usually see about 10 million colors. This is due to millions of special cones in the eye that can recognize pigments. Sometimes certain cones can fail, leading to color blindness. In other cases, a person can have a "tetrachromia", which means that they have an additional cone type and can see up to 100 million colors.

Just because we can see all of these colors does not necessarily mean that we have one name for all of them. Pantone currently has 2,678 named colors in its graphic design collection, while Crayola only has 120 different crayon colors. Either way, there are still a lot of colors! [1]

9 The impossible colors

It is clear that a surprising number of colors are visible to the human eye. But what about colors that are not visible? The “impossible” or “forbidden” colors are theoretically a blue-yellow mixture and a red-green mixture that the human eye cannot see. There are neurons in the eye that are activated when seeing red or yellow. However, the lack of red or yellow indicates that green or blue is present. Similar to a light switch, they cannot be switched on and off at the same time and therefore cannot see both red and green as well as blue and yellow in the same room. Essentially, red and green cancel each other out, while blue and yellow cancel each other out.

In 1983, scientists Hewitt Crane and Thomas Piantanida tried to do the impossible and find a way to look at these forbidden colors. Using eye tracking technology, they held red / green (and blue / yellow) striped paper in front of the volunteers' eyes. The volunteers indicated that the lines between the individual colors gradually faded as the colors merged into a new color. Apparently, these new colors were so unique that the volunteers couldn't even name or describe them. [2]

8 Cultural Color Differences

Although there are so many shades, tones, and shades, people can usually distinguish and categorize them. Scarlet is a shade of red; Blue and green are both cool colors. However, some cultures have other ways of describing colors, if they describe them at all.

In the 1970s, researchers Paul Kay and Brent Berlin worked with missionaries from the Summer Institute of Linguistics to collect data on color vocabulary worldwide. These missionaries showed people in tribal communities color chips and asked them to describe each color. In some cases, for example in the Candoshi language, the community members did not have a specific name for each color. Instead, they could describe a yellow chip as "ptsiyaro", which refers to a yellow colored bird. What's even more interesting is that they don't differentiate colors in the same way as the Western Roy G BIV model. For example, they used the same word (Kavabana) to describe all shades between green and purple. In English, green, blue, and purple are considered separate categories, with even more words to describe the many shades of each. [3]

7 The fruit came first

Vocabulary also changed to English and the categorization of colors has changed over time. Many people probably believe that the citrus fruit was called “orange” because of its bright color, but it was actually the other way around. Until the end of the 15th century, the color orange had no name of its own. Instead, it was simply referred to as yellowish red or a color between red and yellow.

When traders started to bring oranges from Asia to Europe, the colorful fruits helped establish orange as its own color. Originally the fruit was called "Naranga" in Sanskrit, and this became "Narange" in French, then "Orange" in English. Oranges became a descriptor for other objects that shared their light hue; for example, one could say "a necklace the color of orange" or "an orange leaf". Eventually the word "orange" took on a second definition and became the name of this yellowish red color. [4]

6 Most Popular Color

How many times has someone asked you about your favorite color? Even online tests often ask this question. Everyone has their own favorite, and sometimes this favorite can change over time. So it can be interesting to learn that overall one color seems to highlight blue as the most popular. As early as 1941, studies showed that blue tones were preferred to all other colors, and this has not changed in more recent studies.

Scott Design Inc conducted two surveys in 2011 to determine the most popular and least popular colors. Blue was the most popular with 27% of the votes, while green took second place with 18% of the votes. At the same time, brown won as the least preferred color. Only 3.5% of the participants indicated that blue is their least preferred color. In 2017, paper company G. F. Smith launched an online survey where participants could choose their favorite color. After 30,000 people from 100 countries cast their votes, it was announced that the winning color is a teal color that is now called Marrs Green. While it's called "green," there has been debate about whether it's really a shade of green or a shade of blue, since it definitely contains references to both. Regardless, it is clear that blue and green are very popular colors. [5]

10 explanations for the color schemes used in everyday life

5 Fear of color [19659020] Phobias are known to be strong, irrational fears that people might feel about certain triggers. Common phobias are arachnophobia (fear of spiders), acrophobia (fear of heights) and claustrophobia (fear of closed rooms), but there are also many other unusual phobias such as chromophobia.

Chromophobia is the fear of colors, and there are also specific phobias for certain colors. An example is xanthophobia, the fear of the color yellow. Similar to other phobias, chromophobia can cause extreme anxiety, panic attacks, irregular heartbeat, and nausea. It is believed that the causes of this strange fear are PTSD or a particular color associated with something extremely unpleasant. [6]

4 No magenta in the rainbow

The rainbow is often used to represent the full spectrum of visible color, but magenta is not actually found in the rainbow. In the simplest sense, the rainbow consists of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (and in this order). However, magenta would be somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum – red and purple.

Colors are wavelengths of light that are normally perceived based on which wavelengths are absorbed or reflected by an object. When an object absorbs all wavelengths except green, green light is reflected and the object appears to be green. When two wavelengths are reflected at the same time, the eye finds the “average” color between these two wavelengths. For example, if the object reflects blue and yellow light, the object appears green because green is halfway between blue and yellow in the spectrum. So if both red and purple – the opposite ends of the spectrum – are reflected, how would the object appear? Technically speaking, the color green is evenly between red and violet, but green is obviously a completely different color than both. To compensate, the brain essentially turns the spectrum into a loop or a wheel, with magenta closing the gap between red and violet. Magenta is a real color, but it is unique because it has no wavelength and no place in the rainbow. “ [7]

3 Color Psychology

It is obvious how color affects our sense of vision, but it is perhaps less obvious that it can also have profound unconscious effects. Color psychology examines how colors affect a person's emotions, thoughts, and even behavior. Branding is an area where color psychology is often used. Businesses use certain colors to influence consumers. For example, red and yellow can actually stimulate a person's appetite and make them hungry. It is no coincidence that many food chains have included these colors in their logos!

In addition, color can even improve attention and memory. In an experiment by Frank Farley and Alfred Grant, it was questioned whether color or black and white multimedia presentations would affect the test subjects' memories. Their results showed that the test subjects actually had a better memory for the colored presentations. Other research has also looked at the practical use of color in helping Alzheimer's patients, people with autism and people with dyslexia. [8]

2 Color Symbolism

While color can have psychological, unconscious effects on us (e.g. memory preservation), colors also have symbolic meanings. Some symbolism is obvious (red means stop), while other meanings are less relevant for everyday life (blue can symbolize trust and loyalty). The symbolism is also very different in different cultures. In western culture, white often stands for innocence, peace and purity and is often used at weddings. In China, however, white is associated with death and grief and is often worn at funerals.

Color symbolism is not even concrete within a culture, since associations can change over time. Imagine a baby shower – depending on the gender of the baby, everything is usually pink or blue. In fact, for much of history, this has not been the case. Until the beginning of the 20th century, no color was associated with one or the other gender. Both men and women wore blue and pink. Then the clothing stores recommended dressing boys in pink and girls in blue. It is believed that these companies simply wanted to increase sales by encouraging parents to buy a brand new clothing set for a new baby. Before, boys and girls were dressed the same, and it was convenient to use the same clothes from one child to the next. Later, in the 1940s, things turned around when blue became the standard for boys and pink for girls. Over time, these associations persisted and are still common today. [9]

1 Color of the Year

A funny color fact is that Pantone chooses a specific color every year as "Color of the Year". This tradition began in 2000 with the color Cerulean Blue and has had its own color every year since then. For 2020, this color is a shade of blue called Classic Blue. The managing director of Pantone, Leatrice Eiseman, described the color as “Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue is permeated with a deep resonance and offers a basis for anchoring. A boundless blue, reminiscent of the vast and infinite evening sky, encourages us to look beyond the obvious to broaden our thinking. Challenge us to think deeper, broaden our perspective and open the flow of communication. “

This idea may seem silly or just for fun, but it does have an impact on trends in design, fashion, and marketing. When the new color is announced in December, many bloggers will even post tips and ideas for using the color in reader wardrobes, interior design, social media, etc. So don't be surprised if you notice a lot of "classic blue". this year! Needless to say, it could be more appropriate for the color of the year to be PSA blue, as there is certainly a lot of it at the moment! [10]

10 facts that we all misunderstand About colors

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