Holi is around the corner and people across India will celebrate the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil with different rituals, traditions and of course, colour! This festival will see hues of red, indigo, yellow, green and many more – each with its own history and significance, but also symbolic of fun and freedom.
But, did you know that March 21st has also been adopted as ‘International Colour Day’ by 30 countries around the world? On this day, colour is celebrated with gusto, through art exhibitions, pop ups, workshops and more!
The adoption of an International Colour Day was proposed by the Portuguese Colour Association in 2008 to the International Colour Association, and the proposal was agreed by its members in 2009. After considerable discussion, members chose the date – March 21 – suggested by Austrian, Leonhard Oberascher. The date commemorates the annual equinox, which occurs when the sun passes through the earth’s equator. During the equinox, day and night are of equal lengths. This is symbolic to the balance between lightness and darkness in our lives.
What’s so special about colour?
Thanks to visual perception (the ability to interpret our surroundings using light in the visible spectrum reflected by objects in the environment) colour is one of the most influential phenomena in people’s lives and one of the channels that contributes greatly to the perception of reality.
From the ‘Tuscan Sun’ of our morning yolk, to the ‘Hickory Hue’ of our evening coffee, colour is present in every aspect of our lives. For example, while reading this, take a look at what you are wearing? What is the colour? What made you reach into your wardrobe and pick this colour out? Colours influence our everyday decisions, whether we are consciously aware of it or not.
Brands utilise colour palettes to establish their identity and create points of differentiation. Advertisers select certain shades to better attract and connect with their ideal customer. Authors utilise colour to set the mood, signal character personalities, and evoke symbolism.
At Word Hatter, colour is a valuable facet of our work – it inspires us to think, plan, organise and write. Read how a few of our team members enjoy using colour differently!
Colour stories from the Word Hatter team
Our co-founder, Sharmila is consciously aware of the colours she chooses to adorn. Every morning her wardrobe screams – grey, blue and white. She associates these shades with comfort, but someday aspires to wear a bold red.
Sheetal, our other co-founder, uses bright colours such as orange, green and yellow to highlight important research findings. Her choice of dress is subdued on the other hand, and includes shades like grey, beige and white. On the rare occasion she likes to experiment with a mithai pink dupatta or lipstick, she looks equally poised and stylish.
Kaveri uses the power of colour to evoke emotions in her writing, and lead the reader through vivid descriptions. This could mean describing the colour red, using objects such as stop signs, buses and tomatoes. She always adds a splash of colour to boring and mundane activities such as updating excel sheets, to do lists, and calendars.
In contrast, Rohan views bright colours as a source of distraction to his writing process. He loves black, white and blue because it creates a calm environment for him to work in, and let his creative juices flow.
Like Kaveri, colour is a source of inspiration for Bakul. She accessorizes her workspace with cheery shades such as amber yellow and teal. She also likes to add an accent of colour to her choice of clothing. For instance, if she wears a white kurta, she will sport a colourful scarf or a dupatta.
Alia likes her desk to have colourful objects strewn on it. On any given day, you will find neon pink post-its, a mustard yellow coaster and a bright orange notepad. The juxtaposition of colours induces a sense of excitement and motivation for the day’s work ahead.
Hues of natural greens – leaves and trees, help Komal untangle the cobweb of thoughts in her mind. Orange shades of dusk inspire and evoke positive feelings, while the starkness of a white screen or paper sometimes helps bring everything into focus.
Colour means something different to all of us. Viva la colour – Happy International Colour Day and Happy Holi! Comment below and share your unique colour stories with us.