December 11, 2018


This week for #WhatIveLearntAbout, I am chatting to Martha Roberts @the_colour_file who is a journalist and colour expert. Her Instagram feed is rainbow filled and I love her insights and interesting facts. Today shares with us what she’s learnt about COLOUR…

“I’ve always known that colour fills me with deep joy – that’s been a given since I was that little girl who loved purple beyond anything else! But it wasn’t until I started The Colour File that I had any notion of the extent to which colour permeates everything we do, from how we think and act through to how we feel and the choices we make.

I’ve discovered how colour can communicate so much and speak in a way that words often can’t. For example, historically, wearing black for mourning was shorthand for ‘handle me with care: I’m not in a great space’, conveying through colour something seismic that words couldn’t even begin to truly describe.

As a result of the way that colour and life are intrinsically linked, I’ve found that since writing about colour on a daily basis, my knowledge of so many other things has increased, too. I love the random facts that don’t necessarily change my world but definitely expand it. For example, did you know that most of us own grey sofas, that magenta was named in honour of an Italian battle in 1859 or that pink can help to slow down heart rates? In Roman times, purple cloth was so special that the state had a monopoly on its use and anyone using it without permission could be sentenced to death. I guess I’d have been in trouble if I’d been a little girl back then!

Colours can make big impact in our brain. I learnt that being shown green before a creative challenge leads people to come up with the most imaginative and interesting responses (the so-called ‘green effect’). This made me think about my own creative spaces as well as what I wear: I definitely feel inspired when I wear green.”

Thanks so much for sharing Martha! Have you got any favourite colours that hold special memories or evoke emotion? We would love to hear…

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