Service of Color When It Jars

August 22nd, 2013

Categories: Charity, Color

Pink garbage can

With paintings, furniture, ceramic tile, decorative elements, fashion—almost everything I can think of—all colors fly.

There are exceptions.

Last Sunday I drove by oversized pink plastic containers waiting for garbage pickup on a country road. A stylized ribbon on traditional green, brown or blue containers would have had the same effect of showing support for breast cancer research and patients and would not have looked so out of place—plain ugly–in a bucolic setting. [Actually, I don’t like to see any garbage pails hanging out on such a road but that’s a different subject.] Whose idea was it to associate a garbage can with a good cause? Just saying.

Turquoise houseI’m also not a fan of lavender or turquoise exterior house paint in northern climes

Speaking of color, what’s with all the blue nail polish? Nobody in New York is wearing pink, red or purple anymore. I like cerulean, sapphire, cobalt and aqua but I’ve not made the jump to my nails though I’m getting used to it on others.

Blue food? Nobody has trouble with blue tortilla chips.

pink hairTeens in head-to-toe tattoos are often the people with blue or unnaturally red/orange hair though I’ve also seen 50+ women so festooned. They don’t look ugly, just vying for attention yet some seem uncomfortable in their locks.  

Are there colors that seem out of place to you?

Purple carrots


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9 Responses to “Service of Color When It Jars”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    Crazy colors are fun. I used to wear blue, black, brown and silver nail polish until the nails couldn’t take it anymore and started to split. Uninvited comments and critiques ranged up and down the Richter Scale. Teens should not be the only ones to enjoy life, though everyone may profit by consulting the mirror before sporting the latest attention getter.

    Tastes vary, and even what one considers the most garish and out of place is precisely what may please or entertain others, so why not sit back and enjoy variety, even if it doesn’t approach ones conservative standards?

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Guess I am conservative and not very fond of pink except in roses, the inside of a hamburger, and as an accent in a pattern.

    Tastes vary and I’m sure the big garbage cans are best sellers….they might look well in a sunny climate such as Florida. In upstate NY they look strange.

  3. Martha Takayama Said:

    How could anything be more out of place than pink on garbage cans! The whole concept of associating color with anything other than peace (white flags) or danger (red) and street lights for safe crossing seems to me overly coy and at even confusing!

    Bill Blass once said, “Pink is the navy blue of India”. And he was talking about fashion, not medical political or social causes!
    Color has different associations and evokes different responses in different cultures. There is so much satisfaction and beauty in enjoying a pantone range of shades of colors without worrying that their use may cause viewers to suppose that you espouse or are against a certain cause or political or other persuasion. As the plethora of pink items associated with breast cancer are foolish or even demeaning especially when used for the pages of newsprint. Breast cancer i not just for women, and the overuse of pink trivialises the horrific realities of of this scourge.

    As for nail polish, I am resistant to most blues, greens, and yellows on anyone but the very young on whom these colors can look amusing, in warm weather in particular.. Black looks macabre, rather than chic, although it might have appealed to Edgar Allen Poe. I is, however, impossible to overlook the commercial potential in pushing these colors

    A harmonious variation of the range of natural hair colors suits most human beings best. As with all styles one should try to compliment the wearer.

    If you wonder why a particular color (or colors) seems omnipresent in any given season, be aware that the practice of having a specific palate determined by a national or commercial Chamber of Commerce used to and may still prevail in France and Italy. It is not the result of all designers dreaming in purple at one time!

    Do bear in mind that in Turkey, Greece, and throughout the Middle East, turquoise is thought to protect, and even ward off evil!

  4. Jim G. Said:

    I once worked for a man who changed the company color from a red burgundy to light green. Supposedly the red generated hostile feelings and the green, warm friendly ones. I didn’t particularly care for either color, but then I didn’t cotton much to any of the colors illustrating your blog post either.

    I think it all goes to prove the obvious that there is a world of difference between what great artists do with their colors, like Bellini and his blues and Constable and his clouds, and people who use colors to shock or sell.

    “It takes all kinds…”

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I didn’t know that about France and Italy! Here we have the Color Marketing Group. A committee predicts, for example, what colors we’ll see in home décor so that there will be the appropriate color towels to coordinate with gray or beige bathroom fixtures.

    Also, you make a great point about nail polish manufacturers–good for them for selling so many new colors! I saw a lavender on a friend and it was quite stunning.

    As for Turkey and turquoise, I lived in Turkey eons ago and don’t recall turquoise houses…maybe that’s changed. I can see a gentle turquoise in Bermuda with the traditional white roof but not in New England.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Artists also use colors to shock….and some do whatever it takes to sell and they, like the manufacturers and charities, make a ton of money doing it.

    Funny about red, a stimulating color and green in some shades, more soothing, relating to nature. Wonder if this positively reflected in his bottom line after he paid to change all the stationery, collateral etc.

  7. Jim G. Said:

    You raise a question none of us dared asked. Was the considerable expense of changing of the company color justified by a subsequent increase in profitability?

    The answer is we don’t know. Nobody knows.

    The boss was “the very model of a modern” CEO. Not only did he change colors, he changed auditors– from a thorough, expensive one to a less expensive and much less thorough one. Since hid employment contract tied his compensation to short term corporate profitability, strangely profitability was always sufficient to ensure that he got the biggest possible bonus– that is until he left and the company was merged out of existence.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Jim G,

    This boss was in the Jackie Gleason Honeymooner school of “Heads you loose, Tails I win,” and as you describe, the model of some modern executives but, thank goodness, not all. And how great to be able to make a change as he did–and no doubt many others–never be held accountable to justify the expense or quantify the gains and win a bonus no matter what.

  9. Cynthia Said:

    Just read your blog about BLUE nail polish… I was in Bloomingdales yesterday and bought the whole Mermaids series of deborah lippmann’s beautifully bottled nail lacquers. (Research, of course). Icy, glittery hues include “Mermaid’s Eyes” a cerulean blue, “Mermaid’s Dream” an opalescent sea foam green and best-seller “Mermaid’s Kiss”…

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