Colour has been inextricably woven into the history of G . F Smith since 1936, when the first shade of the now iconic Colorplan range was born. In the 83 years since the range has emerged to include 51 colours, colours which hold up a mirror to the times and capture the spirit of their age.
As part of Colorplan’s continued evolution we questioned if there was a colour that best reflects today. Opening this question to the world through the power of digital interaction we asked the creative community: what is your favourite colour? With submissions from over 100 countries our ambitious project quickly became the world’s largest ever colour study.
What better reflection of our Instagram charged, digital, always on world that a set of 4 new crowd sourced 'favourite colours' to reflect today.
A hue almost exactly halfway between yellow and green, this was the world’s most popular shade of yellow. Spanning a space in the collection between the bright yellows and muted greens it was named Chartreuse, in honour of the traditional mid-point between these two colours. Due to the high attention it commands of the eye, this shade is often used for high visibility vests, and, since 1972 following a survey by the International Tennis Federation, it has been the regulated colour of tennis balls due to its high contrast on television screens.
The World’s Favourite Colour Survey wasn’t just about the colours people picked, but the words they used to describe them, these word associations yielded fascinating results. Having asked the participants why they had chosen a particular colour the text underwent a linguistic analysis, being reduced to words with a pertinent interpretation and linked back to corresponding shades. Happy was the most frequently stemmed word with 1,305 mentions, closely matched to the existing shade of Colorplan Citrine. The second most popular word was Calm (1,257 mentions) matching to Colorplan Turquoise. Bright was mentioned over 1000 times but this highly saturated pink colour was missing from our collection. It was named Hot Pink in honour of Osman Yousefzada, a fashion designer who was an inaugural ambassador of the survey and choose this as his favourite colour.
Whilst orange was chosen by around 1800 people as their favourite colour it was dwarfed in the survey by the favourite choice of green and blue. However when we delved into the linguistic analysis a less saturated, toned down orange kept appearing. Linked to our survey's participants describing change, hope, joy and fun this dark orange was introduced to the range to encapsulate the celebration of colour uncovered by the world’s favourite colour survey. Named Rust to embody the natural warmth and tactility that people associate with hope and joy.
White and black didn’t feature highly through the survey. This may well be explained by the fact that many people do not consider these to be colours. However as a paper, both black and white are highly prized and form some of the best-selling ranges. In amongst a modest palette of existing night time shades we took the world’s most popular shade of black from the survey to form Slate, a shade at the darkest edge of grey, adding even greater depth to our nocturnal palette.