13 October 18: Blue for girls, pink for boys

Welcome to Saturday, folks.

One of the things I love about colour is how we come to recognise and define things by them (golden arches, purple chocolate wrappers, robin egg blue jewellery boxes). Our brains make such strong associations that colours frequently become short forms for pretty much everything: sensations, aspirations, even the mood of a nation (or the world itself). However, the other thing I love is stories of colours bucking the trend, turning convention on its head. Before we came to believe that blue is for boys and pink is for girls, it was actually deemed to be the opposite. A 1918 US trade publication article said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” In fact, only a few years later, Time magazine printed a chart telling U.S stores what colour to suggest for boys or girls: Filene’s in Boston was one of a number that told parents to dress boys in pink. Interesting that things are so very different today, huh?

Martha, The Colour File x 

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