Following on from my last post, “Color in Fictional Settings”, this week I’d like to look at how we can apply color meaningfully in a constructed setting. To help me out, I teamed up with author Sander Famil to discuss his unique treatment of the color purple.
On earth, purple is the color of royalty and prosperity and it’s not hard to see why. In antiquity, purple dye was got from the mucus of the Murex mollusk. Production of a mere 1.5 grams of dye required beating, drying and extracting the mucus from roughly twelve thousand Murex mollusks.
Yes, you read that correctly, 12,000!
Naturally, due to the costs involved, purple became a color effectively reserved for the rich.
But, what if mollusk genocide wasn’t a prerequisite to obtaining a purple dye? What if purple was a more naturally abundant color?
Sander Famil proposes such a world. In Askur, purple is a common color. Many plant species are purple in color and the pigment is easily extracted and manipulated, leading to some very interesting cultural implications…
So next time you’re dealing with color, don’t just make white the color of good and black the color of evil. Think deeper. Ask why a certain color has a certain connotation and then imagine a scenario in which it that connotation is flipped on its head. Trust me the results will be….colorful!
Hope you all enjoyed.
Until next time