By: Hilary Doherty Grey
Gray • Grey (also spelled gray in the United States,) describes the colors ranging from black to white. • These, including white and black, are known as neutral colors.
Most grey pigments have a cool or warm cast to them, as the human eye can detect even a minute amount of saturation. • Yellow, orange, and red create a "warm grey". • Green, blue, and violet create a "cool grey“. • When there is no cast at all, it is referred to as "neutral grey", "achromatic grey" or simply "grey".
Warm Grey Cool Grey
The History of Gray • The color and material used in Elizabethan Clothing was extremely important. People who could wear the color Gray was dictated by English Law! These were called the Sumptuary Laws. • The colors of Elizabethan clothes, including the color Gray, provided information about the status of the man or woman wearing them. • This was not just dictated by the wealth of the person, it also reflected their social standing. • The meaning of colors during the Elizabethan era represented many aspects of their life - the social, religious, biblical and Christian symbolism was reflected in the color Gray!
The Symbolic and Religious Meaning of the color Gray • The symbolic meaning of the color gray was mourning and repentance • Gray is the color of ashes and a punishment or penance was to walk barefoot in a town covered with ashes • Gray also has a Biblical meaning and is the Christian color for the season of Lent and closely associated with fasting and prayer • Cheap dyes were used to produce the color grey • Gray clothing also symbolized humility and plainness, and for this reason was associated with monastic life and could be cheaply produced by using coarse, rough, undyed dark wool • People who were allowed to wear the color grey during the Elizabethan era, as decreed by the English Sumptuary Laws, were lower and upper classes
Culture of Gray • Like black, gray is used as a color of mourning as well as a color of formality. • Along with blue suits, gray suits are part of the uniform of the corporate world. Dark, charcoal gray carries with it some of the strengh and mystery of black. • It is a sophisticated color without much of the negative attributes of black. • Lighter grays are similar to white. Gray tuxedos are common for men at weddings
Cultural Context • Elegance • Humility • Respect • Reverence • Stability • Subtlety • Timelessness • Wisdom • Anachronism • Boredom • Decay • Decrepitude • Dullness • Dust • Pollution • Urban sprawl Positives Negatives
Psychology of Color: Gray • Gray is most associated with the practical, timeless, middle-of-the-road, solid things in life. • Too much gray leads to feeling mostly nothing; but a bit of gray will add that rock solid feeling to your product. • Some shades of gray are associated with old age, death, taxes, depression or a lost sense of direction. • Silver is an off-shoot of gray and often associated with giving a helping hand, strong character (sterling in-fact!).
Physiology of Color • Ultimately, the use of a particular color has a lot to do with what it represents to each individual. • Scientists believe that every person has an particular set of color prompts based on cultural nuances as well as personal experiences. • While one individual may choose a certain color because of the pleasant recollections it bring to mind, another will reject the same color because it is associated it with an unhappy memory.
Grey in Society Grey is popular among women and men in our society
Gray in Nature • Colors become progressively gray as their frequency range widens (saturation decreases). • At some point, there is so little distinct hue perceived in them that we start calling them all gray; but you can get different grays depending on where we began: there is greenish gray of concrete, and yellowish gray of limestone, and bluish gray of slate, and so on. • In fact, most real world objects transmit or reflect a rather wide frequency range, i.e. they all are more or less “gray”. Completely saturated colors are rare. But completely gray objects do not exist.
The use of Gray • To use the grays successfully, one must remember that the less saturated the color is, the less influence it effects and the more influence it receives. • A more saturated color will always influence a less saturated one much more visibly than the other way. This is called neutralization.
Gray is the color of sorrow. People who favor gray can be the lone wolf type or narrow-minded. Gray with more silver in it can be a very active color. • Native Americans associate gray with friendship. Gray is the symbol for security, maturity and dependability. It connotes responsibility and conservative practicality.
In the world of black and white, you were my color…but I’m starting to think you were just another shade of gray.