April is National decorating month in the United States, so we thought we’d join in the fun by considering just one aspect of workspace décor: colour.
When you’re designing an office environment, there’s so much to think about. For a start, there’s layout, which must take into account natural and electric lighting, access, and air conditioning. Then there’s furniture, wall art, and flooring. Oh, and don’t forget the living plants, fish tank, and storage – and a water dispenser to provide pure drinking water, on-tap, for your whole team.
A fun part of decorating is choosing a colour palette. When it comes to your water dispenser, you might be a bit stuck. I mean, how much choice do you really get when picking a tap?
With Aqua Alto? Infinite choice.
The colour of your Aqua Alto tap can be matched to any of the 1,000-plus colours in the RAL colour chart. That is a lot of choice! So let’s have a look at some of the colours we see every day.
In terms of wavelength, visible light makes up the middle band of seven in the electromagnetic spectrum. The seven bands are: gamma rays (0.001 nm* to 0.01 nm; X-rays (0.01 nm to 10 nm); ultraviolet (10 nm to 400 nm); visible light (400 nm to 700 nm); infrared (700 nm to 1 mm); microwaves (1mm to 1 m); radio waves (1mm to 10,000 km).
*One nanometre (nm) is one millionth of a millimetre (mm).
Through biological and cultural influences, humans have developed psychological responses to colours.
Like night and day or yin and yang, black and white are opposites. The colour black is the visual impression experienced when no visible light reaches the eye. The colour white is how we perceive the reflection of all visible light.
With opposites, there is usually balance, like night and day, winter and summer, or yin and yang. Like black and white keys on a piano keyboard, black ink on white paper, white chalk on a blackboard, and black text on a white computer background. Together, black and white present sharp contrast and clarity, and they symbolise the paradox of simultaneous unity and duality in the natural world.
During the 20th century, black became a symbol of intellectual and social rebellion – the promotion of individual freedom and a refusal to accept mainstream culture and values. The Black Square, painted in 1915 by Kasmir Malevich, is widely considered to be the first purely abstract painting. Malevich wrote, “The painted work is no longer simply the imitation of reality … but the materialisation of an idea.”
Later on in the century, non-conformist groups were usually characterised by black clothing (conforming to the accepted uniform of rebels!). The Hells Angels wore black leather jackets; early punks dressed predominantly in black; and the goth fashion was inspired by Victorian mourning dress.
The renowned Italian fashion designer, Gianni Versace, said, “Black is the quintessence of simplicity and elegance.”
In Christianity, a religion that has a strong influence on the people of Europe and North America, white is associated with virtue, purity, cleanliness, humility, sacrifice, and honesty. The colour is worn by brides, children at their baptism, and the Pope. Jesus Christ is typically depicted in white.
Like black and white, grey is an achromatic colour, which means that it has no hue. The elegant neutrality of achromatic colour schemes can convey dignity, power, and temperance.
The colour red has a dominant wavelength of approximately 625-740 nm – the longest wavelength in the human spectrum of visible light.
The colour of blood, red is traditionally associated with danger, sacrifice, and courage. Surveys in Europe and the United States reveal that red is most commonly associated with anger, love, heat, sexuality, passion, energy, determination, and heat. In many Asian countries, red symbolises happiness and good fortune.
During the daytime, sunlight is usually perceived in the atmosphere as blue, because the short-wavelength blue light is more easily scattered and the light that reaches the eye is predominantly blue. This phenomenon is called Rayleigh scattering. However, at sunrise and sunset, there’s a longer path for the sunlight to travel through the atmosphere, and as blue light is scattered, it’s removed from the light that reaches the eye, leaving only the long-wavelength red.
Some of the hues described as “brown” are reds – for example, chestnut, burnt umber, rosy brown, and red brown (web colour “brown”).
Orange has a dominant wavelength of between 585 and 620 nm. In Europe and the United States, orange is associated with extroversion, energy, activity, warmth, amusement, and the unconventional.
In Buddhism, orange is the colour of illumination, the highest state of perfection. In Confucianism, orange symbolises transformation. Saffron, the namesake of the colour orange in China and India, was once Asia’s finest and most expensive dye.
The colour orange has strong associations with taste and smell. The orange colour of carrots, oranges, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, turmeric, saffron, carnations, tulips, and many other fruits, vegetables, spices, and flowers, comes from a photosynthetic pigment called carotene. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that orange is the colour most often associated with flavour and aroma.
In the autumn, when green-leaved plants stop producing chlorophyll, the orange and red hues of carotene can be seen in the dead leaves. Most browns – including tan, wood brown, raw umber, chocolate, walnut, taupe, Peru, sandy brown, buff, russet, cocoa, smoky topaz, and desert sand – are shades of orange. The hues of sunsets, autumn, and wood can give the colour orange a cosy warmth that’s associated with age, wisdom, nature, and tranquillity.
The colour green, which has a dominant wavelength of approximately 495 to 570 nm, is a symbol of nature, fertility, life, and youth. The English word “green” shares its root with the words “grass” and “grow”. Green represents political movements that support sustainability
Green is the colour of safety and permission. A green traffic light means “Go”. A green light on a device means that the system is turned on and working as it should.
Colour is detected by photoreceptor cells in the retina of the eye, called cone cells. There are three types of cone cell (S-cone, M-cone, and L-cone), and each type is receptive to light within a certain range of wavelengths. Most hues are picked up by just one kind of cone cell, but greens, positioned in the centre of the visible spectrum, are picked up by both the L-cones and the M-cones. This means that green is an easy colour to see, and studies show that green is restful to the eye. A green environment can have a calming effect. It can reduce fatigue and increase creative performance.
Cyan is a colour between green and blue, with a dominant wavelength of 490 nm to 520 nm. The cyan colour range includes, among other hues, turquoise, teal, and aquamarine.
Blue light has a wavelength of approximately 450 nm to 490 nm, with pure blue in the middle with a wavelength of 470 nm. Midway between true blue and cyan is azure (aka sky blue), with indigo and ultramarine falling between true blue and violet.
Pure water is almost colourless, but it absorbs slightly more red light than blue, giving bodies of water a slight blue-green tint. Water also reflects the colour of the sky, which appears blue due to Rayleigh scattering.
In public opinion polls in Europe and the United States, blue was chosen as their favourite colour by almost half of those questioned, and it was the colour most associated with intelligence and concentration.
In many cultures, blue has been associated with divinity, and in the 12th century, the Roman Catholic Church dictated that all painters should depict the Virgin Mary in blue, using the pigment ultramarine, made from the semi-precious stone, lapis lazuli. Ultramarine was the most expensive of all pigments.
Aqua Alto dispenses up to 45 litres of highly filtered chilled or near-boiling water in just one hour. With three taps running off one base unit, the Aqua Alto system occupies no more cupboard space than a single tap, and its energy consumption is approximately half that of equivalent competitor products. This innovative yet simple tap comes in any colour you like, to match or complement your brand colours or office décor.
If you’d like to talk to us about energy-efficient water dispensers, give us a call on 0800 080 6696 or email email@example.com. We look forward to talking to you.