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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Confused About Colors

Nothing weighty today. Just wondering why people like and dislike the colors they do.

What brought this to my attention (again) was some feedback I recently got about my website. I had already toned it down--besides the yellow in my banner, the only robust color on my pages was the orange background of my sublinks menu. It matched the orange on my book cover--a sort of motif. But even though the content of the site is black text on a white background, almost everyone found it too colorful. I've since changed the sublinks background to a more subdued hue, but this experience rekindled my confusion about why most people are offended by anything not dull, drab or bland.

My big brother, God bless him, is one such person. He once refused to buy a house that was otherwise suitable because a food pantry was painted purple. Years ago, when my Windows 3.X computer had "hotdog stand" as the color scheme, he reacted to my screen like a vampire to garlic. His sneer of disgust was priceless. I'm sure he hates my book cover, as well.

Another arena where this phenomenon is apparent is in the NFL. I happened to like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' original uniform and logo, but 9 out of every 10 people I discuss it with refer to it as "stupid," ridiculous," or "gay." They consider the muddled red and, pewter color scheme an improvement. From a distance, it could be confused with the San Francisco 49ers uniform. The emblem of a pirate with a dagger in his teeth was also replaced with what looks like a kindergartner's drawing of a Jolly Roger.

How about the New England Patriots? I guess red, white & blue was too "stupid," "ridiculous" or "gay." Maybe we should change the colors of the American flag to (dull) red, silver & (bland) blue so as not to offend people.

Then there's the Rams (I still think of them as Los Angeles...even though they started in Cleveland). Blue and yellow was just too bright, so they had to replace the yellow with vomit-tinted gold.

Of course the Denver Broncos were too colorful. They minimized the orange and had to dull-down the blue.

And the Falcons. I rather like black-dominant color schemes, and think their uniforms would have been very sharp if the old red & black scheme had merely been reversed. Nope--red is just too robust and had to go.

I'm surprised the Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals have clung to their garish paintjobs for so long, but won't be surprised if they are one day replaced with turquoise, burgundy and silver.

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