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The theory of colour


Did you know, Sir Issac Newton invented the colour wheel in the late 17th century? He projected white light through a prism and saw how the different colours projected onto the wall. From there, he studied the colours and created the circular colour wheel we are all familiar with today. 

I love a colour wheel, they always look so perfect and harmonious! Like this one by Moses Harris from the early 18th century. This is perfection for me and feels very comfortable to look at. 

Moses Harris Colour Wheel

A traditional colour wheel is made up of three primary colours (red, blue and yellow), three secondary colours (green, purple and orange) and six tertiary colours (the double-barrelled names that sit in between, like yellow-green or orange-red). 

Tints of colours are where they are mixed with varying amounts of white, and shades of colours are obtained by mixing the colours with black. 

The colour wheel can also be split into warm (red, orange, yellow) and cool (blue, green, purple) colours. Those with long memories will remember this is how we originally started selling, in packs of three. 

Colours tend to also be associated with emotions. Warm colours tend to represent energy, brightness and action. Whereas cool colours mean calm, peace and serenity. 

Of the seven colours we sell, here are their meanings... 

Red symbolises energy, passion, action, ambition, danger, determination, anger and passion. 

Orange represents social communication and optimism but can also mean pessimism and superficiality. 

Yellow is the colour of the mind, intellect and cheerfulness but also impatience and cowardice. 

Green is about balance and growth, new beginnings and abundance but can also symbolise possessiveness. 

Blue is associated with trust, peace, calm and loyalty, but also sadness and conservativism. 

Purple is the colour of royalty and wealth, creativity and individuality, but can also be about immaturity and impracticality. 

Pink represents unconditional love and nurturing but can also be seen as silly. 

Which is your favourite and what do the colours mean to you? Does this change how you think of them? 

 


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