Lesson 6 of 10
In Progress

Most used colour

Fear determines our colour choices

If you paint a wall white, do you think anyone is going to ask you why you picked white? Probably not. They are more likely to ask you about the green, red or blue wall in your house. 

This is one of the reasons why people choose white. It is a simple and easy explanation for why white is the most common colour. But there is also another explanation why white is the most used colour… 

The most common colour has been etched into our subconscious since Roman times. The funny thing is, that it’s not their fault, it’s all just a big misunderstanding.

The Laocoön group

When this was found, Michelangelo and his peers established that the Antique  was white, and that white was therefore the perfect aesthetic expression. From those days in 1506 until today, many still live in the understanding that the statue was white. But, was it really white?

Washington D.C.

In 1776, George Washington founded the capital of democracy, Washington D.C. He celebrated the cradle of democracy, Ancient Rome and Greece. As he believed that everything in Ancient Rome was white, he equated this to democracy and founded a white capital.

When we discovered the mistake

In 1882, archaeologists found statues in caves dating back to Ancient Greece under the Acropolis in Athens, the Peplos Kore. This was when they realised that Antiquities weren’t originally white. They were very colourful. The paint had simply faded over time. But up until that point, and since 1506, all artists had mistakenly celebrated Classical Antiquity as a white age.

White is the most used colour

White is the most used colour, but white is not a bad colour. It is full of light and opens up spaces. It is timeless. Though, choose white because you want white, not because you fear a colour choice. 

One of the most difficult things is combining different whites and getting them to look good together. Make sure you don’t just describe it as white, specify what kind of white you mean, and make sure it can be used on different materials.