Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Busted! What is the color of trustworthy information?

Wikipedia just announced that they will allow a color-coding for text that has been declared untrustworthy. Orange will be used to highlight unreliable text, with more reliable text given a lighter shade. Text earns "trust" over time, and moves from orange to white.

It’s unfortunate that color myths - such as those presented by Benjamin Moore recently - had not been subjected to similar evaluation. For example, their recent “Color Associations” article claimed that:

1. Yellow is the most difficult color for the eye to process and see.
(Fact: Yellow and yellow-green have the highest visibility of all the colors. Just look at caution signs, fire trucks, and emergency rescue vehicles.)

2. Yellow aids digestion and stimulates circulation.

3. Blue is also known as anti-inflammatory, and can provide relief for insomnia and headaches.

So then, if I have severe gastro-intestinal distress, should I get a dose of blue to stop the inflammation or do I choose yellow to aid digestion?

This also raises a question about how to use a color for these cures. Are you supposed to stare at a piece of colored paper, drink a glass of colored liquid, bathe in colored light, or rush out and buy a gallon of paint for the walls? By the way, will a pastel version of the color work as fast as a deep dark shade?

Fortunately, Benjamin Moore decided to remove and review this article after reading Kelly Berg’s blog post, "Benjamin Moore, We Expect More from You." Cheers, Kelly!

Aside from this incident, we are unfortunately subjected to unreliable information from people who stand to make a lot of money from posing as professionals. As Kelly states, “We are not doctors, and we can’t go around prescribing paint colors for physical ailments. The psychology of color is far too complicated for that.”

In the meantime, if you want factual information about using color to transform your home into a place that feels good according to your needs (calm, stimulating, inspiring, etc.), see Color Matters for the Home. It’s an easy to follow guide that you can download it in seconds.

PS. I’m a great fan of Benjamin Moore paint and have specified their hues for many projects. They have the most glorious yellows!


Maria Killam said...

I just found your blog tonight after looking for colour myths, I'm writing an article about them. I'm sitting here trying to remember the ones I hear over and over again and instead of getting up to look at my notes and books I started googling and found this post!!

I have read a lot of info on your very informative and wonderful website, and it's great to see you have a blog as well!

Arte Styling said...

Thanks for the mention! I was thrilled when BM told me they were taking down the article! One down, about 10 million to go. :)