Orange and Gold

Orange is a secondary color mixed from the primaries red and yellow. Gold can refer to the tertiary color resulting from a mixture of orange and yellow, or to a metallic gold. The complementary color of orange is blue, the third primary; gold and blue-violet are complements. Orange and gold usually form a clear image on the retina of the eye. Warm hues such as these can dominate a room or a landscape; cool colors such as blue, dark green and purple are blurry at a distance. Orange often holds maximum attention value when all colors are seen in the same light. It is said to be less earthly in quality than red, more tinged with a feeling of incandescence. It suggests the form of a rectangle. In painting, Vermilion red and a warm yellow-orange Cadmium can be combined to create an intense series of orange hues.

Adjectives to describe the colors orange and gold include: exciting, vital, forthcoming (advancing), assertive, aggressive, active, dense, near, dry, light, intense, brilliant, royal, unusual, outgoing, fiery, strong.

Orange and gold are often associated with the fashions and interior decorating styles of the 1960s and '70s. Red, yellow, orange and gold have predominated in the architecture and textile designs of many Eastern Asian countries for centuries. The color of Buddha is yellow or gold in India. Egypt symbolized the sun with gold. In ancient Greece, gold was assigned to the goddess Athena. Orange is associated with Jupiter, as used in the great temple of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

The Renaissance brought garish and spectacular colors into use. Orange was popular; and gold outlines were often used on clothing and furniture to emphasize cool, contrasting blues and violets. After the more somber palettes of the Colonial and Victorian eras, there was a brief flash of color in the early 1900s before World War I. At this time, the Russian ballet was influencing Paris and the American East Coast. Rich colors of Imperial Russia such as magenta, bright orange, and fiery gold became fashionable.

Orange has long been associated with engineering in heraldry, flags and emblems. Golden yellow stands for science. Tenne, or Tawny (Orange) indicates worthwhile ambition in traditional European heraldry; while Or (Gold) designates generosity.

The standard safety code uses orange to indicate acute hazards likely to injure, such as cutting edges. Orange road signs are usually triangular. Safety colors are chosen for the high frequency of color blindness; orange and gold are easily perceived by most human eyes.

The German poet Goethe devoted many years to the study of color. Of orange, which he often referred to as red-yellow, he said: "It gives an impression of warmth and gladness, since it represents the hue of the setting sun… It is not to be wondered at that impetuous, robust, uneducated men should be especially pleased with this color." The abstract painter Kandinsky said, "Orange is red brought closer to humanity by yellow."

Many who study color preferences have found that orange is the social color – cheerful, luminous and warm, rather than hot (like red). Orange can be very stimulating. In one survey, the majority of people did not like orange because the warmth and vibrancy were seen as overpowering. However, it tends to be the favorite color in paintings for those aged three to six.

The colorist Faber Birren wrote, "People who say that orange is their favorite color are friendly, do not like to be left alone, and are fluent in speech. In several instances, the disliker of orange has turned out to be a person, once flighty, who has made a determined effort to give up superficial ways for more sober applications and diligence."

In conclusion, I have found that I myself am drawn to the colors of orange and gold in several ways. Always a seeker of sunbeams, I begin longing to be outside on a bright clear day whenever my indoor environment involves a large amount of these warm colors. My own favorite colors are deep, rich shades of green and teal; nothing offsets and highlights these hues as well as orange and gold. Being born in mid-August, my astrological sign is Leo; and I have long associated both the late-summer heat and the image of a lion or lioness with these hues.

Sunrise, sunset: the day begins and ends with orange and gold.