Gummi Colour Wheel

Looking up the colour wheel today has been an interesting exercise and made me realise something that perhaps should have been more than a little obvious, or at least for an artist.

I’d often puzzled over Starburst colour/flavour choices in the past, as they are one and the same in the end when eating them. My favourite Starburst sweets for a long time, were their ‘Gummi Ringles’ which I don’t see very often anymore (and are intensely difficult to find images of online!).

These Gummi Ringles usually were two-toned, and the colour combinations available were orange/blue, purple/yellow and red/green. My favourite was always the orange/blue flavour even though I don’t know what blue was supposed to taste like. I always looked forward to seeing the combination come up in the bag even though the combination itself wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing.

Why do I mention this now? Orange and blue, yellow and purple, and red and green are complimentary colours, as displayed above.

Orange and blue combinations have been coming up frequently in work ever since I started in March, and interestingly enough even though orange and blue are complimentary combinations, the combinations of these two colours chosen by separate organisations have often been glaring and ugly.

Yet because blue comes up often as organisational colours, it seems that those perhaps similar with the basics of colour theory decided that orange makes a good companion to their organisations’ particular shade, when it is not the directly opposite colour that works the best, but the two shades on either side, it seems.

While analogous colours in general definitely look much better, few organisations would work with three colours in either case, particularly in regards to digital projects. Few would use extensive pallets on their websites, for instance. Strangely enough… the colour palettes we develop are usually 6-8 colours long though.

Image from Pirate Viking Painting.