Soon you’ll make everyone green with envy by showing off your newfound knowledge of this month’s colour! Read on for some interesting bits of trivia, tips, puns and finally, as always, a showcase with a little something for everybody. Enough beating around the bush, let’s get to it!
Other color of the month you might enjoy:
December – Colour Chronicles: Bold Brown
January – Colour Chronicles: Brilliant Blue
February – Set Your Website on Fire with Red Themes, Photos, and Palettes
Green is a complementary colour that results from the combination of yellow and blue, taking on many of the latter’s characteristics while still retaining its own features and symbology. Interestingly, in many languages, the name itself has its roots in words describing growth, freshness, youth and grass, while others (at least historically) would not even have a separate term for it, instead including it in the words for blue and yellow, respectively.
Green is a tranquil and peaceful colour with soothing properties. The word which best captures its essence is “balance”; neither too warm, nor too cool, calming but still vibrant, easy yet not too easy to perceive. Although present in minerals (emeralds, for example), it is mostly an organic colour.
Studies suggest that the colour improves the ability to concentrate and aids in reading comprehension. In Denmark, during exams, the desks are covered with green tablecloths to help the students focus and to try to relieve some of the stress.
Although no longer accurate, the term “green room” comes from the fact that the waiting room was literally painted green. It was said to relax the performers’ eyes before they would have to face the lights on stage.
Naturally, it represents everything organic, especially the plant world. Now it has become the number one colour for the environment and causes dedicated to preserving or saving it; it has also extended to eco-friendly products and services (the term “green energy” comes to mind).
Going deeper into the topic, it is a symbol of life and fertility. This can come either from the more obvious source of green (plant life) or from water which can occasionally take on greenish shades. Through extension, it can be a symbol of new beginnings, just as tiny sprouts on dark soil let us know that spring is on its way. Saying that someone is “green” means that they are new or inexperienced.
On the other hand, it can also represent the exact opposite: illness, death and decay. It is probably an analogy to the fact that anything green and visible on the human body is toxic, therefore a sign of sickness. Green mold is also a sign of decay.
There are also some figurative associations, such as luck or envy. A four leaf clover traditionally brings good luck and is presumably the source of the connection. The ancient Greeks believed that envy was caused by excessive bile which would normally give a person a pale green complexion.
As mentioned in the previous article, its complementary is red and the theoretically ideal proportion is 50-50. However, the pair should be used in less vibrant shades and as accents rather than main elements in order to avoid a Christmas feeling. Another way would be to use orange instead of red.
For an earthy mood, brown is the obvious choice. Darker and less saturated versions of both give a more somber feeling; keeping the dark brown but coupling it with a vibrant (but not default RBG!) green allows you to place emphasis on elements without adding too much glare.
Blue and a more bluish green make for a nice watery combination, but like with red, a proper hierarchy should be used. Using just the two will make the visuals hard on the eyes and you definitely don’t want that! Both of them work great with dark grays and provide great contrast and emphasis.