As a person who is very interested in "colors", I thought I would start this blog with a shout out to a very interesting book I added to my collection. I will likely draw from it for future posts, as some of the history of colors is very intriguing to me! The book I am referring to is "The Secret Lives of Color" by Kassia St. Clair. I thought I would start with "Beige" since it is probably one of the most used colors in the world (at least in my part of the world). Despite very creative names from paint manufacturers (which usually do not include the word beige at all), the color is best described in the book as "unassuming and safe, but deeply dull". So why is it so widely used and acceptable in a majority of spaces? I think the author poetically sums this up as follows:
"Beige is largely accepted as neutral, an ambiguous color that everyone will like. In fact the situation is worse than that: the hope is not that everyone will like it, but that it won't offend anyone."
Being known as least offensive is not a great reputation, but I suppose it could be worse?! Perhaps Beige is getting a rough review here ... but it does beg the question, do we default to this color because we don't know what else to do when trying to appeal to a large audience? Or are we reluctant to take risks? Personally I wouldn't exclude it as an option, if it was the "right choice"; but I am certainly not drawn to it either. However, like any color choice, as designers, we need to evaluate the choice of color for its value and particular application - it takes discipline and risk to step outside our comfort zone and stray from "safe".