Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chevreul and the color fringe effect

Michel Eugene Chevreul's scientific work covered a wide range. Besides being a snappy dresser himself, He wrote The Laws of Contrast of Colour.  He noted that colours influence each other when side-by-side.

If you stare at colored disks for a while, you will start to notice a fringe or halo in another color surrounding the disk. That halo is not actually there; your mind is producing it.  It has to do with the eye manufacturing missing wavelengths or "seeking white balance."

The reason this has implication in clothing is that the shirt you are wearing has an "anti colour" which is influencing the way your skin looks. If your shirt color is throwing off a flattering halo, you will look good. If it is throwing off an unflattering halo, your dark circles and blemishes will actually be enhanced!

When I worked at Dairy Queen in the 70's, I had to wear an orange-colored uniform. The supervisor wouldn't stop going on and on about how sick I looked. I think she might have had other problems than acute observation! Conversely, in my closet I have a favourite blue shirt that I wear and I invariably get compliments on, even if I'm not wearing any makeup.  There is definitely something to the colours we wear and how we are perceived.

[I love how many fields such as philosophy, science, and business are being given the graphic novel treatment. So I did a preliminary sketch of a panel illustrating this topic.]

1 comment:

  1. very, very cool. Love the way you've pointed this out. ^Up^ x 1,000