Who doesn’t love color – splashing out of a paint can, gracing a brilliant bloom, transforming an exotic pillow or radiating the luminescence of a peacock feather. Color saturates us with heightened emotions and sways our moods; color informs and channels our design inspirations, enhancing many of our personal statements. Color defines our personality and how we design our homes.
Just for fun, take this “baker’s dozen” quick quiz to test your color IQ. You will find the answers at the end of the test.
1. How many individual colors can the human eye perceive?
A. 10 million
B. 15 million
C. 3 million
2. Who discovered the color wheel?
A. Auguste Renoir
B. Sir Isaac Newton
3. White or off-white remains the most popular design color. What is the second most popular color?
4. What two colors help initiate hungry feelings?
A. Red and blue
B. Yellow and green
C. Yellow and red
5. Matadors twirl red capes in the bull ring to:
A. Protect themselves from the lethal horns
B. Provoke the bulls with the movement of the cape
C. Enrage bulls because they react to the red color
6. What part of the eye gives its color?
7. Which is NOT a primary color?
8. Chartreuse is named after:
A. The greenish/blue flower of a Hydrangea species
B. A liqueur distilled by monks in the Chartreuse region of France
C. A silky blue green fabric manufactured in China
9. Pantone declares every year the color of the year. What is the color of this year, 2023?
A. Bright Orange
C. Viva Magenta
10. Which colors should never be used together?
A. Red and pink
B. Blue and green
C. Yellow and gray
D. All are ok
11. The color Indigo is naturally made from:
A. The petals of Delphiniums
B. The blue Himalayan poppy
C. The leaves of the Indigo plant
12. Which is the most infrequent color found in nature?
13. What is the color, “eigengrau?”
A. A dark gray color
B. The German word for blue
C. An endangered white elephant
We have one of the most sophisticated light sensitive cones in the natural world and birds and insects might be right up there with us.
In 1706, Newton placed the colors, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet on a circle grid (remember ROY G BIV from science class?). If you spin the color wheel, the colors blur together to see white and the color wheel helps us to design in complimentary colors.
Blue always tops every survey of the favorite color, second to white.
Just think McDonalds and many other fast food spots as experts tell us that red and yellow make us think we are hungry.
Did you know that bulls are color blind and actually react to the movement of the cape to get them excited and charge the matador?
Your iris is the colored part of the eye and depending on how much pigment your eye contains, determines how dark your eyes will be.
Yellow, Red and Blue are the only hues that cannot be created by mixing other colors.
In 1764, the Carthusian monks created this sweet and spicy yellowish-green liqueur that is still enjoyed today.
Viva Magenta is a brave and energetic color, pulsating with vibrancy, creating a brighter outlook as we reinvigorate our lives from the loneliness of the past pandemic years.
In today’s design world, all color combos can be used with creativity and subtlety.
Indigo is extracted from the leaves of the Indigo plant that is an ancient process that is still used today to produce this distinctive dark blue dye that we all associate with our favorite blue jeans. Synthetic Indigo dyes are now more prevalent.
Blue is the rarest color in plants and animals because of the complexity of the compounds found in each of these and their inability to reflect blue light.
Eigengrau is a dark gray color that is perceived by the eyes when we are plunged into darkness and a signal from the optic nerve makes us see this as dark gray. Weird!
I hope you discovered some new ideas concerning color as color fascinates, animates and illuminates all we do.