Hello world, I am your ugliest color!

PANTONE488C and color perception

Understanding abstract visualizations is an almost inherent human trait. Without much training, kindergarten kids get that a longer item means more – bigger kids are older, longer lollipops are more etc.

Perception of color is immediate, but individually very distinct: around 10% of the male population is red-green color blind, seeing colors very much depends on individual photo-receptor composition. During a logo development, I was once very pleased with my beautiful blue-to-green gradient design. Alas, it turned out that the colleague in need of this logo, was unable to see even see the gradient! He literally thought I was making fun of him by showing him just a blue dot.

Gradient-01

Color and shape

Colors alone usually have no meaning. But they can strongly influence the meaning of a shape. And, this meaning is a learned cultural standard. a red octagon symbolizes “STOP”, a red human shape indicates “FEMALE” and a red heart means “LOVE”, and a red cable is MINUS electric currency.

SHAPES-01

Changing the color of a symbol can change the meaning of a symbol: While a red octagon means STOP, a green octagon at airports inverts this and means “GO AHEAD”.

 

XKCD color survey: or what is the guys name for lavendar?

A fun read about color-perception is the XKCD color survey with >200.000 participants: https://blog.xkcd.com/2010/05/03/color-survey-results

Ugliest color

Despite out individual color perception, an Australian research project now identified the world’s ugliest color in a quest to find a repelling cigarette packaging. The unanimous lead spot was won by PANTONE448C! A murky mix of muddy green and brown. It proved so successful in discouraging smokers that it was since rolled out in other countries too.

5___I_am_pantone448C_ugliestcolor-01

You are free to use it, but beware that it might signal something BAD! 🙂

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