The story of coloured barricade tape

I want to share a colour story that was told to me in Porto.

As you know, I am mad about colour for colour’s sake (colour needs no excuses) but I also love colour that comes with a story.

Rita, whose screen printing course I did the other day @cave_original, told me that her boyfriend is colourblind and therefore benefits from the fact that the branch lines on the Porto metro have symbols as well as colours to represent them (so simple and helpful but I’m pretty sure we don’t have that on the London Underground, do we?).

Colour symbolism sprung to mind again as I wondered around Porto yesterday, especially when I spotted this barricade tape ‘tree of life’ on the corner of a corrugated metal fence (bottom right).

Different coloured tapes have different meanings in the world of health and safety: apparently, red and white denotes fire prevention and protection while magenta and yellow, for example, is for radiation hazards (I’ve not seen it in the flesh but I’m kind of glad about that).

Martha, The Colour File x


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