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Is this a Pigment of our Imagination or is the World Less Colorful?

Have you seen that viral Tik Tok or IG by @theculturaltutor post on how the world is becoming less and less colorful over time? It is a fascinating topic - and indeed it appears to be true. But why?

The analysis conducted by the Science Museum in 2020 also yielded similar results: objects from earlier eras were displayed on the left side of the room, while newer items rested on tables closer to visitors as they entered.

The study found that while things on the left side of vision tended to be brightly colored, objects toward the right were more likely to be gray.

Below the creator sited the graph below as he analyzed percentage of colorful pixels (ie: not black or white) and indeed it is true, we have less color in our world than ever before!

Less Color?

Color is becoming less and less common, which has some significant implications for society.

The reasons behind this phenomenon are many:

  • The global population is increasing at a rapid rate, leading to more homogeneity in the way we live our lives.

  • Our globalized economy empowers the masses to vote with their wallets on what sells best, meaning that more and more products have begun to look similar.

  • A rise in minimalist trends has led to an increase in grey tones and minimalism over bright colors.

  • Often people are designing their homes or offices, or choosing the color of their car not exclusively for themselves, but are mindful about reselling for maximum price - even if they have no intention to move or sell that car in the near future.

Below are two images from @thecultruraltutor showing how preferred colors for automobiles has changed overtime, along with an image of a parking lot from the 80s and one from today that vividly confirms the point.

Minimalism is Contributing to Less Color

Minimalism is a design concept which involves eliminating unnecessary elements from something in order to highlight the essential. It’s usually a minimalist look that uses neutral colors with minimal accents. It features an open floor plan, lots of light and functional furniture. Its focus tends to be on shape, neutral colors and texture—rather than items such as art or collectibles,

However, this trend is spreading rapidly to other areas of life outside of popular car colors and neutral offices and white kitchens - including children's clothes, kids toys, popular social media feeds and website designs and even party decor! (if you don't follow @sadbeigemom on Tik Tok or @officialsadbeige on IG, you should! It hilarious account and makes you think that perhaps this abandonment of color maybe isn't such a great idea).

Above: Social Media feed templates, baby clothes even party decor is becoming more and more neutral

So what?

When people look back on decades past, they often describe vivid hues that seem absent from modern life. Color is a key element in all our visual experiences and its effects have been widely studied. The way you feel about color is often subjective, but certain colors can influence how people respond to a brand or product.

We at BrassTacks love whites and neutrals, too. We're just curious about how much the world is moving toward that aesthetic—and it's certainly something we see regularly in specifications for collections. However, while the topic of color psychology has long been studied by Interior Designers, it is sad to think that this new data might reflect a real decline in our experience with and appreciation for colors.

Perhaps it's time to reassess how we use colors in our daily lives and to derive the many benefits they provide!

We love color and similarly, we work with manufacturers that offer endless options to add color to the products you specify! For more colorful ideas, check out our lookbook!

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