Category Archives: Blue

What Is True About The Color Blue?

Blue is a color of speculation; the color means different things to different people. For instance, some find the hue mellowing while others find it encourages strength. Today we dress boys in blue, but until the 1900s it was known as a girl’s color. More so, the amount of blue shades can seem overwhelming. From sky blue to navy and even electric, each blue shade can be interpreted in a unique way.

Diving into the history behind the color blue shines light on its checkered past, but it doesn’t necessarily explain why we feel blue or are drawn to blue humor. Nevertheless, knowing the history of blue can help us understand how this color influences the world we live in today.

Biblical Blue

In biblical times the color blue was seen as holy. The Old Testament notes how the High Priest wore a blue robe and the Ark of the Covenant was covered with a blue cloth. Similarly, in the book of Numbers, God instructs Moses to tell the Israelites to “…make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them…” (Numbers 15:40 NIV). More so, recall early paintings of the Virgin Mary. She was often portrayed wearing celestial blue.

Blue Laws

However, by the early years of Colonial America blue had taken on a different meaning. In short, blue meant bad. At this time, there was something called, “Blue Laws.” According to First Amendment professor David Hudson, these laws were put in place to “…encourage people to go to church, and to prohibit people from engaging in secular activities.” A shining example of a Blue Law is the prohibition of alcohol sales on Sundays.

Blue Humor

Today, many of us fear the pink slip, but years ago comedians feared the blue envelope. In the early 1900s, traveling comedy groups were handed blue envelopes before they entered new venues. The envelopes contained notes on what material ought to be cut from the show so no local audience members would be offended.

What Do You Think About The Color Blue?

Believe it or not, the rich history behind the color blue continues. Have you ever wondered why people sing the blues? And do you know what a “blue devil” is? The NPR article, “Sacred, Sad And Salacious: With Many Meanings, What Is True Blue?“ continues to unravel the history behind blue. But this story cannot end until we know what the color blue means to you.

Do you have a strong connection to the color blue? If so, what shade speaks to you? And how do you use this color to brighten up your world? Share with us by leaving a comment in the “Leave a Reply” section below.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Blue is for Boys, Pink is for Girls

Blue Trees in Seattle

Fun Facts About Familiar Colors

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The Animal Kingdom Uses Color to Survive

Humans have it easy compared to other species in the animal kingdom. We reign at the top of the food chain and do not fear becoming another animal’s lunch. However, survival is a real concern for other mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and fish.

Nevertheless, today the animal kingdom is alive and well because different species have developed non-aggressive defense techniques. For instance, throughout the process of evolution, several animals have changed colors to better blend into their surroundings. Beyond protection, animals also use color to attract mates, and, in effect, prolong the existence of their species.

When we think of color-changing animals, chameleons quickly come to mind, but do you know that flamingos, robins, and snakes are said to have developed their colors somewhat deliberately, too?

For instance, baby flamingos are gray while adults are pink because the flamingo diet includes foods filled with carotenoids, which contain natural color pigments. Some of these foods include shrimp, crabs and algae.

Humans can realize this color changing sensation to some degree. Have you heard of a person’s skin or eyes turning orange after eating a lot of carrots? “Carotenoids,” advises an NPR article “are abundant in plants, where they play a role in photosynthesis. Different carotenoids make carrots orange and beets red….”

Diets rich with carotenoids shine a new light on the familiar phrase you are what you eat. However, the same article points out that “Animals… have a lot of… color limitations.” An Ornithologist from Yale, Rick Prum, points out that birds with mostly brown and gray coloring can develop yellow and red tints if they eat certain foods but they will not have the same luck if they want to turn blue or green.  In fact, Prum says, “Blue is fascinating because the vast majority of animals are incapable of making it with pigments.” Nevertheless, several species appear blue.

Since pigment-rich diets rarely produce this color, how can animals like beetles and butterflies appear blue?

The answer is simple: several blue animals employ optical illusions. A biologist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Dan Babbitt, uses morpho butterflies to explain this phenomenon.

The butterflies have a 6-inch wingspan — one side a dull brown and the other a vibrant, reflective blue. The butterflies have tiny transparent structures on the surface of their wings that bounce light in just the right way to make them appear a vibrant blue that’s so bright it almost hurts your eyes. But if you grind up the wings, the dust — robbed of its reflective prism structures — would just look gray or brown.

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Many animals have centuries of diet and optical illusions to thank for their survival. By eating high carotenoid diets or employing strategies of design, animals have developed colors that allow them to protect themselves from attackers, as well as attract mates.

Even though humans have it easy, sitting at the top of the food chain, it doesn’t mean we know it all. In fact, we learn a lot from observing animals who know how to survive and thrive and adjust to their surroundings.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Coral Reefs: Rainforests of the Sea

Communicating with Color in the Animal Kingdom

An Art Project For Human Kind

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Fun Facts About Familiar Colors

Color. It defines our reality, evokes emotion, can affect our choices, and makes a difference in the way we look. All of us are familiar with the primary colors, but this post reveals some little-known facts that may surprise you.

Red:

Red is usually associated with power and passion. It is vibrant, daring, and attracts attention. For instance, think about the responses drawn by red cars and crimson lipstick.

Fun facts about red:

  • Although it’s widely believed that red capes make bulls angry, the reality is that bulls are colorblind. In this instance, the red lining is meant to conceal any bloodstains.
  • Seeing a red object can make your heart beat faster.
  • In China, brides wear red wedding dresses for good luck.
  • There are approximately 23 different shades of red crayons.

Orange:

The artist Wassily Kandinsky once said, “Orange is red brought nearer to humanity by yellow.” It’s one of those colors people love or hate. Vibrant and engaging, it is the only color of the spectrum that gets its name from an object- in this case the orange fruit.

Fun facts about orange:

  • In France, the middle traffic light is orange.
  • In Hindu tradition, orange is an auspicious and sacred color.
  • Orange is both the name and emblematic color of the British royal family.
  • The ‘black boxes’ on aircraft are really bright orange so they can be located more easily.

Yellow:

German writer and statesman Johann von Goethe said in 1840, “With yellow the eye rejoices, the heart expands, the spirit is cheered and we immediately feel warmed.’ The same holds true today: yellow is associated with optimism and enlightenment.

Fun facts about yellow:

  • Although yellow is considered a peaceful color, people lose their tempers more frequently in yellow rooms.
  • Legal pads are yellow because it improves concentration ability.
  • 75% of the pencils sold in the U.S. are yellow.
  • A yellow flag indicates a medical quarantine.

Green:

Green is not just a color anymore; it is a symbol of environmentally friendly products, buildings, and lifestyles. Green has represented growth, regeneration, and fertility since the beginning of time.

Fun facts about green:

  • People waiting to appear on TV wait in ‘green rooms’ because the color can soothe a bad case of the nerves.
  • Hospital decor is usually green because it calms patients.
  • Seamstresses won’t use green thread before a fashion show, fearing it can cause bad luck.
  • Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to represent fertility.

Blue:

Blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the human body to produce calming chemicals, which is why it’s often used in bedrooms. Blue is also gender-neutral, appealing to both men and women equally.

Fun facts about blue:

  • Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it represents loyalty.
  • Weightlifters can lift heavier weights in blue-walled gyms.
  • Workers are more productive in blue rooms.
  • Blue plates make food appear less appealing: a note to dieters!

Indigo:

We have Isaac Newton to thank for adding indigo to the color spectrum. He wanted the number of colors to match the seven-tone musical scale of Rene Descartes, so indigo was chosen to bring the color spectrum count to seven.

Fun facts about blue:

  • Black light turns ripe bananas a bright indigo color.
  • During the Elizabethan era, only royalty, nobility, and members of the Council could legally wear indigo.
  • Indigo is often called ‘royal’ blue.
  • The Virgin Mary is frequently depicted wearing indigo clothing.

Purple:

Because it appears so rarely in nature and is expensive to create, purple has a powerful history that has evolved with the centuries. It is the most powerful wavelength of the rainbow and denotes wealth and sophistication.

Fun facts about purple:

  • The Romans used to extract an essence for making purple by boiling thousands of marine snails.
  • In some cultures, purple is the color of mourning.
  • Only two of the world’s flags contain purple.
  • In Italy, performers refuse to go on stage wearing purple.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Colorful Jewelry Inspired by Classic Art

Red Artwork is Worth Fortunes

The Reason Why Barns Are Red

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Crisp Imagery through Color Enhancing Technology

3a Crisp Imagery through Color Enhancing TechnologyWhen you look at an image, it is safe to assume that you are seeing it through three color sensors: green, blue, and red. Can you imagine seeing an image through 12 times the amount of sensors?

The University of Granada in Spain and Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, recently unveiled design plans for a “multispectral imaging system capable of obtaining information from a total of 36 colour channels.”

The Polytechnic University of Milan is responsible for creating the sensors, known as Transverse Field Detectors (TFD). These sensors “…are capable of extracting the full colour information from each pixel in the image without the need for a layer of colour filter on them.” The Color Imaging Lab at the University of Granada has created a system that enhances these sensors and puts all 36 color channels to good use.

While this technology will be available to medical and government industries at first, there is a good chance it will someday transform the images we see on our mobile devices and personal computers.

The digital devices we use every day currently have color image sensors limited to the basic three color channels. As you can imagine, this impacts how we perceive color and lessens the quality of the images we see. If our handheld devices and personal computers offer 36 color channels someday, the colors we see onscreen will appear true to life.

Before this technology makes it into our homes it will be used for important activities that depend on poignant but stubborn details, like medical imaging and detecting counterfeit currency.

3b Crisp Imagery through Color Enhancing TechnologyFor now the technology is making it easy to facilitate the “capture of multispectral images in real time.” According to Wikipedia, “A multispectral image is one that captures image data at specific frequencies across the electromagnetic spectrum. The wavelengths may be separated by filters or by the use of instruments that are sensitive to particular wavelengths, including light from frequencies beyond the visible light range, such as infrared.”

The Principal Investigator on this project is thrilled about the potential TFD technology has to “…turn the light they receive into electric signals.” He believes that this technology will aid and advance a variety of industries and research fields.

Even though the technology is young, trials of the Transverse Field Detectors are taking place in locations like the USA.

Learn more about the research that is leading the way to crisper imagery through color enhancing technology:

Imaging Resource

University of Granada

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Hues, Tints, Tones and Shades – What’s the Difference?

Basic Color Theory – Color Matters

Pantone’s World of Color

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American Flag Trivia – Happy Fourth of July!

 
Test Your Knowledge of America’s FlagIn the United States, the Fourth of July holiday is upon us. This holiday is special in many ways. On a surface level, it marks a day without work; a time reserved for family and friends to come together and partake in traditions like parades, barbeques and fireworks displays.

Beyond the celebration lies the true reason why people gather. The Fourth of July is a time to remember the sacrifices that were made to ensure America’s independence and honor the men and women who keep the country free.  To symbolize this reality, the vast majority of Americans fly the American flag for all to see. But what exactly does the American flag mean?

The Fourth of July is a holiday most people understand, but when it comes to the American flag, a larger number of people misinterpret its meaning.

How much do you know about the American flag? Test your knowledge with these trivia questions.

1. How many colors are on the American flag?

a. 2        b. 3        c. 4         d. trick question

2. How many stripes are on the American flag?

a. 13      b. 26      d. 50      d. trick question

3. The colors of the American flag were originally taken from England’s flag, the Union Jack.

a. True                b. False                c. trick question

4. In what year was a committee formed to develop the country’s Great Seal?

a. 1782                 b. 1777                 c. 1776                 d. trick question

5. In what year was the Great Seal adopted?

a. 1782                 b. 1777                 c. 1776                 d. trick question

6. What national figurehead claimed the color red in the American flag signified courage?

a. Charles Thomson         b. Ronald Reagan             c. Mike Buss        d. trick question

7. The flag can be flown in any kind of weather.

a. True                 b. False                c. trick question

8. Wearing a t-shirt with the American flag printed on it is okay.

a. True                 b. False                c. trick question

Answer Key:

1. c | 2. a | 3. a | 4. c | 5. a | 6. b |7. a (if the flag is designed for stormy weather) | 8. b (“The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.”)

How did you fair in Segmation’s American flag trivia?

Learn more about America’s flag, the Fourth of July, and good ol’ fashion patriotism.

Also, take time to enjoy fun activities like Segmation’s digital paint-by-number Fourth of July pattern set: http://www.segmation.com/products_online_choosepattern.asp?order=alph&cat=fju.

And here are some additional red, white and blue craft ideas: https://segmation.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/color-the-fourth-of-july-with-red-white-and-blue-crafts/.

 Happy Fourth of July from Segmation!

Fourth of July BBQ Mr. Firecracker Watching Fireworks Statue of Liberty Fireworks Striped Stars Patriotic Teddy Bear Fireworks

 

Read more Segmation blog posts about the Fourth of July:

Happy President’s Day!

United States Presidents Were Skilled Musicians

Do you have a Memorial Day Quote?

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Colors of Cancun

What happens in Cancun doesn’t necessarily stay in Cancun. People love to share pictures of their Mexico vacations on their social networks. Throughout the blogosphere a common praise is repeated about Cancun: it is full of color.

    • Cancun Quintana Roo, Mex. © Aaron Rodriguez

      © Aaron Rodriguez

      I have never experienced sunset in this way before. The colors are simply delightful.

–        Worth a Thousand Words

    • This is how blue the water was, without help from photoshop…

–        Ever Lovely

    • The best way to appreciate [the peculiar colors of Cancun] is to rest on the beach, enjoying the nature around you, letting it amaze you with the most incredible panoramas.

–        Hyatt Regency Cancun

Natural Colors

Why are the colors of Cancun so enchanting? Some say, aside from beautiful sunsets and white sandy beaches, that Cancun is mainly water and jungle. Even though many visitors only see the tips of textured greens that exist in the jungle, they note how the shade of the jungle is a sharp contrast from the brilliant exposure of the ocean.

Cultural Colors

Plush foliage surrounds the ancient Mayan ruins and brings the history of Cancun to life. People visit these artifacts and are fascinated by the stories locals and tribesmen tell. The distinct look of Mexico’s native people is also rooted in color. Their brown skin, dark eyes and black hair are very distinct. Most carry the stories of Mayan culture with pride and some boast the green, red and white of the Mexican flag as well.

Oceanic Colors

Private Beach at Rui Caribe Cancun Mexico  © cgt

© cgt

Tourists tend to visit the ruins at certain times during their holiday but try to spend much of their time on the beach, too. The colors of Cancun’s water are rich blues. On Pink Shore’s blogger recently wrote, “…the blue water went on for days it was so beautiful!”

Even those who have yet to visit Cancun can attest to the fact that this destination is full of color. During springtime, social networks come alive with pictures posted from Cancun. It is one of the most popular spring break destinations for people in North America and other parts of the world. People seem drawn to Cancun for its warm weather and promise of relaxation, but those who truly experience the colors of Cancun are the ones who leave refreshed. Even though their holidays end, Cancun doesn’t easily leave them. The colors live on in their pictures and memories.

 

Read more Segmation blog posts about art, color and travel:

Why You Should Make Art When You Travel (www.segmation.com)

Travel Like an Artist

The World’s Favorite Color

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Dress for Success in the New Year

What do you know about Feng shui? According to Merriam-Webster, it is an ancient system that guides people in how to balance colors and arrange décor. Meaning “wind-water,” the Chinese art form is thought to invite harmony into the lives of those who use Feng shui. It also invites health and happiness, which are great traits to hope for in the year ahead.

The dawning of the New Year is a cause for celebration. Around the world, people get together to throw parties and host events. Getting dressed up is important on such a night. But pulling out sequins and putting on tuxedos may be overdoing it. Consulting the ancient philosophical system of Feng shui can offer valuable insight into planning your New Year’s apparel.

What to Wear for New Year’s Eve 2014

According to the Chinese calendar, 2014 is the year of the Wood Horse. Therefore, dressing in harmony with the energy of the New Year is appropriate. Colors that compliment wood elements include all shades of green and brown.

Wear Green and Brown

Whatever your plans are for the New Year, be sure to wear some green and brown. If these aren’t your colors, or if you already have your outfit planned, you can add accessories with these shades. Jewelry, belts, or scarfs may be the perfect accent to bring you health, happiness, and success in 2014. But don’t feel limited to green and brown; there are many shades you can wear that are dynamic enough for this extraordinary holiday. For instance, an About.com article recommends trying, “… green jade, agate, green tourmaline and malachite.”

Blue and Black Too

In addition, it is also good luck to wear blue and black because these colors represent water elements. Water is known to support wood, as these elements are necessary for its growth and strength. Therefore, dress up your New Year’s apparel with accents like turquoise, aquamarine, moonstone, black obsidian, black tourmaline, black onyx and more.

According to Feng shui, it is also advisable to avoid colors that signify fire and metal, like whites, grays, purples, oranges, and reds.

Prepare for a fun night this New Year’s Eve. Be sure to dress for happiness, health, and success in the year ahead. Wear shades of green, brown, black, and blue. According to Feng shui, this harmony may suit you.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Holiday Colors:

The Stories Behind Holiday Colors

Green Represents Saint Patrick’s Day

Communicate Love with Colorful Roses on Valentine’s Day

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Blue is for Boys, Pink is for Girls

Blue is for Boys and Pink is for GirlsMany expecting parents are going with a new trend; they are painting nurseries neutral colors. Are people trying to get away from common childhood stereotypes? Whoever said blue is for boys and pink is for girls?

Even though it is true today, color has not always perceived this way. Before the middle of the 20th century, children were not assigned gender specific colors. In fact, there is a lot of debate about the masculinity of the color pink; how some of the world’s most honorable men wore dresses; and what colors really attribute to males and females.

Is the pendulum swinging back to center? Are neutral-colored parents taking a stance against societal norms? Or is this saying true: blue is for boys and pink is for girls?

The Masculine Color Pink

Pink can be seen in the men’s sections of most clothing stores – even if it is not always referred to as pink. Some men opt to call it, “salmon.” Regardless of title, the point is this: a lot of men look good in this color.

Back in the day, pink was not seen as a “dainty” color or overly feminine, as it is today. Actually, during World War II this color was used in military combat – and there is nothing feminine about war.  At one point, the British painted an entire militia of warships pink. They thought this hue would blend in at dusk. The tactic was used to confuse the Germans. Did it work?

Honorable Men Wore Dresses

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was two and a half years old, he was pictured wearing a long white dress with shiny black shoes and long curly hair. His mother was not mistaken about his gender – this look was appropriate for boys in the late 19th century. In fact, during this era, it was appropriate for boys to wear dresses until the age of seven. White cotton dresses went well with white cloth diapers. They were functional and easy to clean.

Who’s Whose Color?

It was not until the middle of the 1900’s that blue and pink were attributed to boys and girls. Even then, it was said that pink was for boys and blue was for girls. This was stated in an article printed in the trade publication, Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department, in June of 1918.  

All this changed, however, in the 1940’s. After World War II, boys began dressing like their fathers, and girls like their mothers.

Gender specific colors go to show how inseparable colors are to the human psyche. Much of a person’s identity comes from the apparel he or she dons. Many children learn about their genders by the colors they wear and play with. But will blue always be for boys? And will pink forever be a girl’s color? Or will the pendulum swing again?

Image Credit: JEONGMEE YOON / BARCROFT

The World’s Favorite Color

The World’s Favorite Color 1People love to travel both near and far. They enjoy taking in new scenes, exploring diverse cultures, eating eccentric food, and more. Visiting different places throughout the world adds richness to life and makes one fact clear: it is impossible to escape color.  Then again, who would want to?

Every country has unique colors that travelers seek and citizens delight in. Plush green hills line Germany. Vibrant reds decorate China. Blue waters surround Greece. White sands dust the United States.

With an endless array of varying shades, it is hard to list the world’s color preferences. Still, every person has an answer to the question, “What is your favorite color.” Therefore, is it too much to ask, “What is the world’s favorite color?”

The Question

Three global marketing firms didn’t think so. Once posed with this question, they set out to find an answer. Cheskin, MSI-ITM, and CMCD/Visual Symbols Library conducted a survey that determined BLUE is the world’s favorite color.

The Answer

In the global study, 17 different countries were polled. Roughly 40 percent of the survey participants listed blue as their favorite color. Perhaps this has to do with the impact blue has on emotions; blues are often associated with tranquility. Varying shades of the color cause people to feel at peace. Blue is also the color most often associated with nature (blue sky, blue water). Could this be a factor why people everywhere share the same favorite color?

Other Findings

  • Purple came in a distant second as the world’s favorite color with only 14 percent popularity.
  • The world’s least favorite color is white.
  • Other non-related studies show people are more productive when they are surrounded by blue.

Is your favorite color blue? Why? If not, what is your favorite color?

Why do you think blue is favored among the rest of the colors throughout the world and in many cultures?

Also, Segmation is interested to know, what is the most colorful destination you’ve experienced? Share your story by leaving us a comment below or sign onto the Segmation facebook page to upload a picture.

Isn’t it a joy to live in this colorful world?

Read more Segmation blog posts about Favorite Colors Around the World:

The Most Colorful Cities In The World

The Stories Behind Holiday Colors

Blue Trees in Seattle

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Welcome Spring with a Freshly Painted Front Door

door,red,blue,color,home,spring,yellow,change

Spring is here, and with it will come a plethora of beautiful colors. The May flowers that April showers bring display lovely shades of red, purple, yellow and blue. With the wave of new life and vibrant color that is soon-to-come, many homeowners will be thinking about Spring cleaning as a preparation for Summer. In addition to thoroughly cleaning, giving your home an external “makeover” would be the ideal activity to welcome Spring. Believe it or not, simply painting your front door can drastically change the appearance of your entire home and make it the feature of your neighborhood.

Painting your front door is perhaps the most inexpensive way to change the look and feel of your house. The colors you have to choose from are endless, but some of the most popular front door shades include:

— Yellow — This bright and sunny hue inspires feelings of happiness, warmth and joy. Yellow is the ideal shade of door paint for a home that is a drab color (such as grey). Painting your front door yellow is definitely the best way to make your home “pop” and stand out to visitors.

— Red — Warm, sultry, passionate — these are all words that are associated with the color red. Applied to a front door,red,blue,color,home,spring,yellow,change door, red truly makes a statement. Interestingly, early American homes with red doors were thought to be exceptionally welcoming. Those drawn to Americana-style decor will likely love the look of a bright red front door.

— Green — Homeowners who are ready for a fresh start and a renewed sense of vitality might want to opt for a green door. Mint and lime are two colors that have been wildly popular lately; these shades are sure to bring a house to life and cause visitors to feel refreshed.

— Blue — Did you know that blue is one of the most stunning front door hues for brick homes? Blue also looks beautiful against natural siding. Those who are ready to quickly and inexpensively change the look of their home should consider a vibrant shade of blue for their front door.

What color is your front door? If you could paint your entryway door any shade in celebration of Spring, what color would you choose? Share with Segmation by leaving a comment below.

Sources:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/6861936/list?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u227&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery12

Coming soon: If you love art as well as technology, you won’t want to miss our upcoming blog post about word cloud portraits.

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