The V&A Book of Color in Design (5E08)

日期: 11/05/2023

Good morning Principal, teachers and fellow schoolmates. I am Shiu Ching Raven from 5E, the Vice-chairperson of the Art Club.


Have you ever wondered what blue symbolizes in paintings? Probably not. The color blue is associated with calmness and peacefulness but also melancholy in works of art. Like you, I find analyzing pigments on anything unnecessary and boring, which is why reading The V&A Book of Color in Design written by Tim Travis was a huge eye-opener for me.


Each chapter of the book introduces a particular shade and uses objects not only from western culture but also in civilizations around the world to explain its significance on a global scale. For instance, green is the color of love and luck in European countries. Red, with its vibrancy and brightness, signifies passion, abundance and good fortune in China. Turquoise, made of a rare mineral, was once highly-prized and favored among the rich, so mostly it was associated with wealth, especially in ancient Egypt.


The biggest takeaway for this book is that color cannot be defined. If I ask you, what yellow makes you feel, what would you say? Interestingly, the emotions we humans have correlated with tones and hues change with time. Like the color mentioned, yellow has been falling in and out of people’s favour throughout history. We might relate it with happiness now, but did you know it signified dishonesty, jealousy and discrimination in the past? Even culture has a place in the characterization of pigments. Black is worn on somber occasions in the west, while in East Asia white is appropriate in mourning. Colors go hand in hand with art. By examining their multiple interpretations, you can grasp the context of one, thus enjoying it more. Plus, you can utilize them to convey messages in your own masterpiece.


If you’ve experienced an art block before, then you know how excruciatingly painful it feels.  A while back I, myself, cannot think of any new ideas.  Although finishing this book didn’t solve this problem, it at least gave me some references with its many pictures and studies. So definitely give this a read, maybe it will inspire you in some ways.

Postal address : 2B Tai Cheong Street, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong E-mail : Tel : (852) 2568-4817 Fax : (852) 2568-0336