Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The power of Rainbow

When musing about the power of color we often think of the emotional effect color has on its viewers. But what about a different kind of power, take powerful companies for example.  How do the biggest, most powerful, and well known companies approach color? We were surprised to find that our list of the top three: Google, Apple and Microsoft; all have used a similar color scheme for their brands.


We know Apple has switched to the more subdued slate grey but the rainbow apple along with the other logos make a striking set. The rainbow has even been adopted by the LGBT community for its symbol of unity in diversity. So if the powerful and re-empowered alike are using the rainbow as identity; what is the power of rainbow?
SF Weekly
Wikipedia points us to a history of rainbow symbology "The use of rainbow flags as a sign of diversity, inclusiveness, hope and yearning has a long history." It has been employed historically by very diverse groups including Incans, Jews, Buddists, Italians and others.

A few weeks ago we posted about color beliefs by culture and found that the color meanings most agreed upon cross culturally were those closely associated with natural phenomenon. Rainbows fit in that category. These bright swathes of color born from the elements of water and air are seen all over the world. They have throughout history been imbued with glory and significance. Our pre-scientific explanations of rainbows ranged from the paths of gods to a wound in the sky healed by a goddess.

So while we now longer believe rainbows are the gods mark on Earth they still hold some of that old power, a different kind of power. We are still awed by rainbows, even if they are just in logos instead of the sky.

Do you need a rainbow in your life? If there are none outside here is the next best thing:
 For more see: Miri695, Jaqian, Rwangsa and Moyan_Brenn on Flickr


- Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
- Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio

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