Lending color to make lives better
The idea that color conveys emotional messages is generally known, but not widely used in a practical way in the country.
The China Academy of Art is introducing two books themed on color philosophy from Germany that focus on how people should decorate the place they live with color that will make them comfortable.
“China is developing at such an amazing pace that it also brings along potential concerns and problems, something that will be better fixed with emotional care,” says Song Jianming, vice-president of the China Academy of Art.
The two new books, Colors of Health and Care and The Color Dictionary, were published by the Publishing House of Electronic Industry in July. The books were produced by the RAL company, a German-based color-standard organization, and were published in China in both English and Chinese.
The books were written by Axel Venn, a professor for color design and a world-renowned trend spotter.
Colors of Health and Care mainly features interior design of places regarding health and care, such as day-care centers, children’s clinics, nursing homes for the elderly and welfare houses.
“We want to introduce our philosophy of color to China because the country is fitting into the international arena in every area,” says Wolf D. Karl, CEO and board chairman of RAL, who was in charge of editing the two books when they were published in Germany in 2010 and 2011.
Song says it has always been difficult to express visual color information through language, and China still has a lot to learn in making color philosophy more widely used.
He says in China, the idea that color conveys emotional messages is mostly discussed in professional areas, but is not widely used in people’s lives.
For example, he says, interior designs of kindergartens are usually designed by artists instead of color experts. Also, public hospitals are mostly in white, a color that conveys “desperation”, according to the new book.
“This, in turn, has led to confusion and misunderstanding about color, creating difficulties for color educators, scholars and scientists,” he says. “What’s more, it would be much better if we can have a certain system in color philosophy.”
In the book, the author is giving specific examples in introducing the idea that colors convey emotional messages. For example, hope is always associated with green and love with red.
The Color Dictionary displays the colors associated with 360 concepts using 49 color images that were painted for each concept by the participants. The colors the participants chose have been translated into RAL Design System colors, as it was also necessary to present them using a recognized, scientifically based color system.
“It’s true that certain colors may convey different emotions to people in the East and the West based on culture difference,” says Song. “But by introducing the book to China, this is a start where we can learn from Western countries and then adapt these ideas based on our own culture.”
Colors of Health and Care gives specific examples of the wise usage of colors in interior design in hospitals and clinics. For example, the color green may bring peace and calm to visitors.