And there's the anthropological approach, which studies the differences in the symbolic interpretation of individual colours across different populations and periods of history.
But what does colour mean for us, the people who work with it every day? Or, to be more precise, what did we want to convey by pairing colour palettes (our tool of choice) with 24 photographs of human subjects?
Well, without any underlying analytical or psychological goals, without making any judgements and without claiming to use every last shade in what is an infinite range of colours, we wanted to turn ourselves into a transparent prism that refracts a rainbow of emotions. To offer a vision and a reflection on the various states of mind that everyone goes through at one point or another, but not always in the same way.
Because everyone's feelings are affected by their own, unique life experience. With shades and intensities that are extremely personal. Even when faced with the same event, every look and every last wrinkle takes on a different hue from everyone else's. Don't be surprised, therefore, if amongst 'our' shades of grey or red there is the occasional anomalous brushstroke or even emotions that contradict one another. As Kierkegaard explained: '(...) the dearest and most attractive dwelling-place of despair is in the very heart of happiness'.
We therefore asked 24 brave volunteers at Pixartprinting to take part in this exploration of colours and emotions. Before being photographed, some unusual and challenging requests were made of them:
“Can you remember a day tinged with nostalgia or the last time you were so overcome with happiness that you cried? Can you remember having a sudden flash of intuition or being beset by opaque and unidentified anxiety?
Try to express it. Tap into that emotion again, as if you were experiencing it for the first time ... and give us a colour. A colour with 'your' shade and 'your' intensity.
A colour that stands out (and makes you stand out) from all the others.”