Chalkboard Colors
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Chalkboard Colors
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Green Boards

Highway SignOne of the most interesting developments in color application is with the conventional chalkboard. For years and years, chalkboards were always black and the chalk was always white. So much so, that they came to be known as "blackboards" until someone had the bright idea of using different colors instead of the black and white which are both neutral colors anyway.

Soothing Eyes

Red Stop SignWhat would make them more attractive? Red is attractive but is also identified with anger, as in "seeing red," or danger as in "stop signs", and financial loss as in "being in the red!" Blue is cold and depressing as in "the blues", so that is no good either. Red is at one end of the spectrum and blue at the other, so the one they settled on was a "comfortable green" in the middle of the color range as the board color. Strangely enough, they found that green actually relaxed and soothed the eyes, so they started making highway signs that color too! The warmth and comforting pastoral hues signal encouragement to go on like the green traffic light.

Response to Colors

Green ChalkboardThe effect of different colors is fascinating. One particular company who marketed a speed-reading course for engineers conducted an experiment with the color of their invoices. The same form was printed in different paper colors and sent out for payment. The results were surprising. The green ones were returned signed, sealed and with a check attached much quicker and in far greater numbers than the others. Yellow gained the most attention, blue ones were largely unsigned with no deposit, and the pink ones were virtually ignored!

Yellow on Green

Fovea of the EyeWhat color should the chalk be? Yellow is an exciting color. Scientists tell us that it stimulates the "fovea" or "fovea centralis" of the eye, particularly when contrasted with the pleasant hues of a green chalkboard. "The fovea is the center most part of the "macula." This tiny area is responsible for our sharpest vision." Yellow chalk, therefore, turned out to be the perfect partner for our green chalkboards.✞

"Chalkboard Colors"
by Ron Meacock © 1982-2019

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