What’s Your Favorite Interlocking Floor Tile Color?
I thought it would be fun to investigate the origins of the psychological and emotional meanings of certain colors in a historical context such as blue, yellow, and green. It puzzled me why these beautiful colors had double meanings. For example, why when someone is down or depressed do they suffer from, “the blues”? Why does the color yellow connote cowardliness or gossipy writing called, “yellow journalism”? Another query I was interested in having answered was what was the relationship of green with envy? Let’s explore together.
The Color Blue
The skies and the oceans are both hued in the color blue. To me, blue suggests the peacefulness of our natural resources. What could be more relaxing than sitting on the beach watching the ocean waves and gazing at the blue sky with gorgeous cloud formations? My daughter will try not to let a day go by without taking a walk on the boardwalk early in the morning. It makes her day so much more relaxing after spending an hour in the presence of such ultramarine beauty.
The color blue does give a sense of coolness rather than warmth. At the same time, it still gives you the feeling of emotional serenity. I suppose if someone is looking for a more exciting interlocking floor tiles they would not go with a pale blue floor. For example, a navy-blue floor definitely has an exciting look to it, and it is still considered in the blue family.
So where did “feeling blue” originate? Let’s look at some research. In olden times when a ship’s officer died aboard ship, his shipmates would raise a blue flag painted with a blue band to inform those on land about the death, so that they would be more prepared upon hearing about the tragedy or maybe to get the burying crew ready to put the body to rest. Diseases were rampant on ships, and no one wanted any more contamination once the ship docked.
Many West African cultures used blue indigo in the death ceremony much like some people have the tradition to wear black for mourning in our country. The African tribes’ mourners’ garments were dyed indigo to signify distress. Slaves brought in from Africa to America would sing songs about suffering while working on Southern cotton plantations and these lamentations became known as “the blues”. In fact, when Jazz became popular in the mid twentieth century, it was originally composed and played by descendants of these African slaves and the heartfelt rhythms became popular with all Americans who could identify with their suffering. Authors such as Chaucer (in 1385) and Washington Irving first used the term, “the blues” in 1807 to describe sadness.
Another connotation of blue is the phrase, “true blue”. When someone speaks the truth it is called true blue because one of the parts of the throat, the fifth chakra associated with the color blue, is connected to the power of speech.
The “blue truth” is that today, blue is a very popular color in tiles. Baby blue is often used in a boy’s room as pink is used in a girl’s room. Pale blue has a clean, fresh feeling to it and gives the child a serene sensation while in the room. In fact, blue happens to be my favorite color. Many expectant parents hope that their child will be born with blue eyes to match the color of the tiles in their room.
The Color Yellow
Daffodils in the spring, the sun on a beautiful day and yellow diamonds are all positive associations of this color. According to mood experts, yellow stimulates our brain to energize it and boost our memory. Seeing a person wearing the color yellow encourages communication and interaction. As yellow tiles attract attention, combine them with black and get a very exciting color combination.
Why and how does such a cheerful color such as yellow get to carry negative vibes? Here are some examples.
Caution: When the traffic light turns yellow, a pedestrian and driver are obligated to slow down which is the opposite of the vibrant enthusiastic color that yellow embodies. It’s possible that due to its brightness, yellow is used as a caution sign since it will be noticed easily by people.
Cowardice: Going from caution to cowardice is only a slight jump and that is one of the major colloquial definitions of yellow. This usage came about because of the yellow-bellied sapsucker bird. This definition became popular in old wild west shows such as Gunsmoke. If a man was afraid to challenge another to a gun duel, they were labeled yellow, and the name has stuck until today.
Yellow Journalism: If we think that the competition between CNN and Fox news is fierce as to who is telling the truth, some historians claim that in the late 1800’s the war over Cuba with Spain was started by two competing journalists, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, well-known names until today. These two giants were competing for the New York City newspaper market. Pulitzer’s paper owned a popular color comic strip called, Hogan’s Alley with the main character called, the Yellow Kid. In 1896, Hearst lured the comic strip artist, Richard F. Outcault from Pulitzer causing a conflict between the two publishers for the cartoon rights. Hearst won the rights to the cartoon, but Pulitzer did not give up. He hired a new artist to continue the cartoon in his newspaper. This battle between the papers is where the phrase yellow journalism originated although it had little to do with sensational writing and all to do with the popularity of a comic strip with the word yellow in its main character’s name.
The term yellow journalism became synonymous with the type of writing of the two newspapers particularly regarding the then Spanish colony, Cuba. These two competitors took the side of the Cuban revolutionaries who wanted to be independent of Spain supposedly spreading false or exaggerated headlines in both papers. Historians claim that the rivalry between the newspapers of Pulitzer and Hearst was instrumental in causing a war. Both parties claimed that an explosion on a Spanish ship was caused by plots to sink the ship which ultimately turned out false, but this yellow journalism ultimately propelled the Spanish-American War.
The Color Green
The color green actually has the most varying shades of all other colors. Hues such as evergreen, olive green, hunter green and lime green are associated with nature and how much chlorophyll is present in plants. Green conjures up a healthy perspective and the season of spring and renewal. However, in ancient times the color green was associated with illness or fear. That all changed when a famous playwright used it in another context.
While Chaucer and Irving had a hand in the popularization of “the blues” it is believed that William Shakespeare first used the term, “green-eyed monster” in his classic play, Othello. He also used a similar phrase for envy in another well-known play titled, The Merchant of Venice. Although prior to these plays the color green was associated with illness or fear, this new meaning of green took off in a flash and is popular until today.
It is also interesting to point out that the name of a popular political party today is The Green Party which is tied to environmental concerns and progressive causes. Going green has a positive emphasis on the elimination of waste and garbage coming from plastics and other trash. Green is now one of the most popular words in a millennial’s vocabulary.
Neutral colors such as grey, taupe and beige are easy to use, fit into most color schemes and are always in style. For those homeowners who want to go livelier, two colors mentioned above, yellow, and green can give a boost to anyone’s morale despite the negative connotations explained before. It is certainly interesting to note that the same words can have such different meanings.
Most of us would not associate the colors we are choosing for interlocking floor tiles with the associations that were implied previously. The English language today is so vast that nicknames and slang are taken for granted and not necessarily stigmatized because of other negative meanings.
We have only touched upon three important colors. There are others that have easy to recognize symbolisms such as purple for royalty and red for fire and danger. These definitions are self-explanatory, however, with some additional research one could surely come up with some original histories about these colors.
So, let your imagination go and find the Interlocking floor tiles that suit your style and decor. Feel free to mix all different colors together and come up with a unique combination. There is no end, only the beginning of what can be created with color tones and textures to bring joy to yourself and be welcoming to your guests.