I recently took a tour around Fenway Park in Boston where I saw seats, walls and fences all decked out in Green. There was green everywhere. And just when I wondered who would paint everything in sight this colour, my eyes fell upon the Green Monster. The tour guide told us boastfully that the colour of the 37 ft 2 in monster wall was actually called “Fenway Green”. The origin of the wall’s unique green color, which is copywritten by the Red Sox, dates back to 1947. The owner of the team at the time, Tom Yawkey, decided that he wanted to minimize the amount of advertising present in the park and had all of the signage on the left-field wall covered with green paint. (Fenway monster green is CMYK (39%, 2%, 0%, 52%)
This got me to thinking about colours and what makes us choose one over another. Sometimes it’s pure utility like in this case. The Fenway Park wall started out in navy blue with white advertisements on it. But that distracted the players, so the ownership needed to find a new color… and they settled on green. Interesting choice.
Colour selection can also be about taste or creating a mood. And that brings me to the Pantone color of the year choice for 2014 – Radiant Orchid. Don’t look now folks but the 80’s are sneaking back…
Imagine the Green Monster wall at Fenway painted Radiant Orchid… as well as all the seats, barriers and walls painted mauve. It would be a very different Fenway Park right? Our world as designers revolves around colour choices and what they will achieve for our clients. Working with colour is our job. From logo design to brand support, colour makes our world go around.
So next time you see something that has a distinctive colour, imagine it in another colour and how that would change it. This is what design is all about.
Coincidentally, the colour palette for 2014 also contains the colour “Hemlock green” – which looks suspiciously like Fenway Green… mmmm.