What Do Purple and Orange Make?- Color Psychology

What Do Purple and Orange Make?

What Do Purple and Orange Make? orange and purple are secondary colors that can create a reddish-orangish shade of brown, which is called Russet.

Being creative in mixing colors is a life-long skill that can have many applications, from graphic design to fashion. The art of mixing colors is rooted in the understanding of the theories of how color affects us visually and psychologically. Purple and Orange is an interesting combination; we need first to analyze the two colors before arriving at such a conclusion. 

Purple is a non-spectral color that is supposed to exist between red and blue. Purple is sometimes being confused with the color violet. The truth is they are different colors but in the same frequency of the red and blue spectrum. Purple is what we call colors that are closer to red, while violet is what we call colors that are shifting towards blue. 

Orange is a secondary color of high vibrancy. It is a color associated with energy and optimism. It is a bright color associated with movement; it is also used in the field of transportation. Orange can stand on its own, but it can be overwhelming to the eyes if left unchecked. 

Both orange and purple are secondary colors of contrasting temperatures. When combined, you can create a reddish-orangish shade of brown, which is called Russet. 

What is Russet?

Russet is a dark brown shade with a hint of red and orange. It is one of the tertiary colors by mixing two secondary colors. This color is in the color family of brown; it is a color that has a gloomy effect. It is made of a quarter of blue, a quarter of yellow, and half of red, which are all primary colors, and mixing these colors will give you brown. 

The first recorded use of russet as a color name in the English language is in 1562. The name is derived from the coarse cloth’s color from the dye of woad and madder and is utilized in medieval Europe as a staple clothing of the lower and poor class of citizens. 

Cultural Associations

In Medieval Europe, coarse cloth of wool dyed with madder and woad was called russet, and it is decreed the poor people of England is required to wear their social class, the nobility wears red, the middle-class wears green, and the poor citizens are left to wear a gray or russet cloth. The Franciscan monks also wear russet-colored robes as a vow of modesty and poverty. 

A medieval poem Piers Plowman by William Langland describes the color as a symbol of humility in his lines:

And is gladde of a goune of a graye russet

As of a tunicle of Tarse or of trye scarlet.

The color is also mentioned in some of the works of William Shakespeare by a character as a foreboding message of his impending doom:

 “Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express’d / In russet yeas and honest kersey noes.”

Russet is also referenced by Oliver Cromwell in 1643 that goes like this:

“I had rather have a plain, russet-coated captain that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call a gentleman and is nothing else.”

These literary works that cite the color russet indicate this color’s basic association to the virtues of humility and poverty because of its association with the poor. The color affects settling in the lowest level of the experiential state to attain enlightenment or spiritual transcendence. 

In science and nature, the word rusetting, derived from the name of the color, refers to the abnormality in an apple or pear’s skin with patches of russet-colored that sometimes rendered the fruit to appear as withered, but in actuality, it is natural. A variant of potato is also called russet and is commonly used as the favorite potato in McDonald’s french fries because of its size. Resetting is also referred to as the oxidation of the steel surface that turns into rust for a long time of use or oxygen exposure. 

Color Psychology

Russet is a color associated with humility and poverty. The medieval poor citizens are required to wear this color to indicate their social class. The color is very earthy and has a deeper connection with the earth. People who are associated with this color are down-to-earth, practical, humble, and dependable. They are honest and don’t waste their resources or time. The color is also associated with devotion and spirituality because the Franciscan monks wear russet robes as an indicator of their vows to remain pure and humble and renounced themselves from the world of materialism and grandeur. 

This color is also the color of autumn. This season in return is associated with letting go and spiritual death. As the color that describes the beauty of fall and its cultural significance, we can learn from this color to accept life as it is and learn to let go of old attachments. The color is also associated with coldness and nostalgia. To reminiscence of the classic eras of time and learn of the world’s various cultures and their contribution to humanity. 

The color is also associated with sorrow. As mentioned in the Shakespearean poem above, the character of Biron in Love’s Labour’s Lost describes his impending fate that he anticipated a lifetime of regret and sorrow and accepting his fate. The color also signifies seriousness. As we look at the color, it has a certain quality of moods devoid of joy and excitement, and it is foreboding and somber but stable like the earth itself. 

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Use of the Color

Russet can be used in graphic design for projects that involve nature and organic products. It can be paired with apple green or lime-yellow for a natural effect or red and orange for an autumn-themed project. It is a color rarely used as a choice in corporate branding because of the sonority associated with the color, but it can be an asset to any color palette when they do.

An interior space can be classic if added a little touch of russet-colored pieces. Decor such as rattan or wicker baskets can add an organic touch to your interior space, especially in a Scandinavian minimalist style. In fashion and cosmetics, russet-colored hair or clothing is perfect with an Egyptian blue evening dress. Make sure to add lighter neutral outerwear to portray an aura of autumnal charm.

What Do Purple and Orange Make?- Color Psychology

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