Earth tone is a term used to describe a palette of colors that are similar to natural materials and landscapes. These colors are inspired by the earth's natural hues, including browns, greens, grays, and other warm and muted shades. The term earth tone first became popular in the 1970s during the environmental movement, as people sought to reconnect with nature and embrace more natural and organic lifestyles.[1]

People often connect earth tones with warmth, comfort, and steadiness, which is why they are commonly used in interior design, fashion, and graphic design. They are also versatile, making them suitable for a wide range of applications, from rustic and traditional to modern and minimalist.

Some of the most common earth tones include beige, taupe, khaki, olive, moss, and rust. These colors are often used together in a variety of combinations to create a connected and natural-looking palette. In interior design, earth tones can be used to create a calming and inviting ambiance,[2] while in fashion, they can add a touch of elegance and experience to any outfit.

While earth tones are often connected with nature, they can also be used in more urban and industrial settings to create a sense of harmony and balance. In recent years, earth tones have become increasingly popular in graphic design and branding, as companies seek to convey a sense of authenticity, sustainability, and environmental responsibility.

Practicality edit

The practicality of earth tone lies in its versatility and ability to blend seamlessly with different colors and styles.

One of the main advantages of earth tone is that they create a calming and soothing atmosphere, making them a popular choice in interior design. They are also considered timeless and can give a sense of grounding and stability to a space. Earth tones are also practical in fashion, as they are easy to mix and match with other colors, and can be used to create a range of looks from casual to formal.

Color palette edit

The color palette of earth tone typically includes warm and muted shades of brown, green, gray, and beige.

Other colors that may be included in the earth tone palette are muted shades of orange, red, and yellow. These colors are inspired by the colors of the earth and can be found in natural materials like clay, sandstone, and rusted metal. Overall, the earth tone palette is characterized by its warm, natural, and calming hues that are versatile and timeless in design.

Psychological and psychophysiological effects of natural colors edit

Cool colors edit

The psychology of cool colors pertains to the effects of certain hues on human emotions and perceptions. Cool colors, such as blues, greens, and purples, have been found to recede from the eye, creating an illusion of depth and making a space appear larger and more open.[3] As a result, these colors are often used in smaller rooms to increase the perceived size of the area. Furthermore, cool colors have a calming effect on individuals, evoking feelings of relaxation and tranquility. Consequently, they are often utilized in spaces intended for rest and rejuvenation, such as bathrooms and bedrooms.

Warm colors edit

The psychology of warm colors concerns the impact of certain hues on human emotions and perceptions. Warm colors, such as reds, oranges, and yellows, are known to create a sense of warmth and comfort, and can even provide the illusion of heat. These colors have a tendency to advance toward the eye, making them particularly effective in larger spaces, as they can create a feeling of coziness and security.

Additionally, warm colors are often associated with stimulation and activity, evoking strong emotions and promoting movement. As such, these colors are well-suited for environments such as gyms and living rooms, where physical activity and social interactions are encouraged.[4]

Common examples of such effects edit

Color psychology is the study of how different colors can affect human behavior, emotions, and mood. This field of study explores the way that color influences our thoughts and feelings, and how we respond to different colors in different contexts.

However, Color psychology is a complex and often subjective field, and there is no single "correct" way to use color to achieve a particular effect. Different individuals and cultures may have different associations with particular colors, and the same color may have different meanings in different contexts.

Red edit

Red is a highly evocative color that has been used in a variety of contexts throughout history. It is a primary color, meaning that it cannot be formed by mixing other colors together. In the RGB color model, which is commonly used in digital applications, red is represented by a combination of 100% red, 0% green, and 0% blue.[5] This unique combination of wavelengths gives red its characteristic hue and makes it a particularly powerful color for conveying a range of emotions and messages. From the vibrant hues of a rainbow to the romantic connotations of Valentine's Day, red continues to be a prominent and influential color in our cultural landscape.

Green edit

Green is a primary color that symbolizes our connection to nature. It is often associated with purity, health, and growth, and is commonly used by brands that promote productivity and vitality.[6] Green is also a relaxing and invigorating color that represents a connection to oneself, quiet moments, and nature. People often seek out nature to escape the stresses of modern life and reconnect with their primal roots. Green represents a return to inner peace and tranquility.

Blue edit

Blue is a calm and serene color, often associated with stillness and reflection. It has a calming effect on the body, resulting in lower heart rates and slower metabolisms.[7]

Brown edit

Brown is traditionally associated with seriousness, stability, and wisdom. It is often worn by people in positions of respect and authority, such as paternal figures or grandfathers. Brown is a color that represents stability and resourcefulness, which is important for families centered around the main male figure. People feel safe and secure around those wearing brown, as it represents reliability and support. Additionally, older individuals who wear brown exude a sense of stability, which is manifested in their accumulated life experience, possessions, and financial gain.[8]

Orange edit

Orange is a persuasive and energetic color that results from the combination of yellow and red. It has the power to enhance extraversion and encourages people to express themselves more freely by letting go of their inhibitions.[9]

Shades of earth tone edit

Overall, colors in earth tone are considered to be the colors of nature like sea, sky, land, and tree. Any color that is mixed with gray is considered an earth tone. Earth tone also includes any shade or tint color as well as brown, green, yellow, orange, or gray. For instance, earth tone colors are as follows:[10]

Examples of earth tone shades
Color display Color number Color name
     #555142 forest floor
     #434237 forest night
     #836539 dirt brown
     #a29259 desert yellow
     #d4cc9a dusty yellow
     #f0d696 straw yellow
     #cfbfb9 musk dusk
     #cec5ad prairie dusk
     #8d8468 brown gray
     #6e6969 charcoal gray
     #885132 charred clay
     #3d2b1f bistre
     #302621 wood bark
     #4f1507 earth brown
     #712f2c auburn
     #44382b bear brown
     #37290e brown tumbleweed
     #0e695f evergreen forest
     #0b5509 forest
     #184a45 forest biome
     #448811 kelp forest
     #002200 forest night
     #0a481e pine green
     #005f56 alpine green
     #4b6d41 artichoke
     #00cc99 caribbean green
     #5e6737 cedar
     #749551 drab green
     #67ad83 seagrass
     #99bb33 moss garden
     #638b27 moss green
     #6e9377 watercress
     #f1faea white sulfur
     #00626f blue lagoon
     #53734c irish clover
     #8caa95 peaslake
     #73b7a5 turtle lake
     #5a6d77 rolling sea
     #2d3032 cod gray
     #848585 dover gray
     #c5c6c7 glacier gray
     #9ca0a6 gray wolf
     #f5f5f5 white smoke
     #8f9aa4 canadian lake
     #4e5481 dusk
     #7eb7bf waterway
     #3ab0a2 waterfall
     #0f3b57 blue opal
     #f4e8e1 jasmine flower
     #563d5d english violet
     #8f4c3a burled redwood
     #3e0007 charred brown
     #6d1008 chestnut brown
     #be7249 orange lily
     #bf9b0c ochre

Applications in design practice edit

Nature always relates to humans both physically and mentally. That is the reason it is the inspiration for many designers to apply natural elements including earth tone (natural color palette), organic shape, and natural texture to design areas of practice.[11] The trend of natural design is influenced by the awareness of global warming and environmental problems.

Graphic design edit

It is very usual in graphic design to apply an earth tone palette. Earth tone is effective for making the audience relate to a design naturally. To soften a solid design and make them more comfortable in appearance, an earth tone is used. Earth tone is related to modernity and minimalism. In brand identity design, earth tone is applied in many logos, websites, and brochures.[12]

Fashion design edit

According to WWD weekend, earth tone had become a fashion trend in Fall 2021 in RTW (Read-to-Wear) runway, including many famous fashion brands such as Versace, Undercover, Theopphilio, Sportmax, Simone Rocha, Schiaparelli, Roseatta Getty, Hermes, etc.[6] In your wardrobe, earth tone closets release the sense of from warm, cozy, simple to elegant and authoritative. Earth tone dresses compliment any skin color which can be mixed with a different color in earth tone palette.[13]

Architecture edit

Earth tone is used by the architect to bring harmony between nature surrounding the building and the building together. The tone improves relaxation in the house and residence, and also, the atmosphere of cozy warm luxurious modern. Due to the fact that earth tone or natural color is comfortable and pleasing to the eye. Earth tone can complement natural light that shines into the architect by softening the light.

Applications in art practice edit

Painting edit

In painting, "brownness" defines earth tone. At the beginning of a painting, primitive painters used soil, animal fat, minerals, charcoal, and chalk combined to be a color around 40,000 years ago.[14] Therefore, the first group of colors was a natural palette by themselves. And earth tone palette was very handy to mix from scratch. There are many types of earth tone artists used. For example, burnt umber is an earthy shade that is a combination of phthalo blue and ultramarine, and a permanent rose. Additionally, Vandyke brown and sepia are similar in color to old photographs and can be useful for replicating vintage effects or a monochromatic look. [15]

Materials and pigments edit

The composition of earth pigments generally involves three elements: a clay base, a mineral component (iron oxide), and a secondary coloring agent. Iron oxide, which is present in different forms and shades all across the earth, is the primary coloring agent for most earth pigments. The properties of iron oxide vary, and its color is determined by the type of iron oxide used. Iron and oxygen are the two primary components of these minerals and are present in different amounts. Additionally, a secondary coloring agent such as manganese oxide, calcium, carbon, organic material, silica, limestone, or rutile (titanium dioxide) can also be present. [16]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Color Through the Decades: 1970s". Sherwin-Williams.
  2. ^ Story, The Design. "Natural and Earthy Tones to Make Trend in 2020?". The Design Story.
  3. ^ Braam, Hailey van (18 September 2018). "Warm and Cool Colors: What Are They, How They Are Used & Psychology". Color Psychology.
  4. ^ Braam, Hailey van (18 September 2018). "Warm and Cool Colors: What Are They, How They Are Used & Psychology". Color Psychology.
  5. ^ "Color Psychology 101: A Beginner's Guide to the Meaning of Colors". Color Psychology.
  6. ^ "Color Psychology 101: A Beginner's Guide to the Meaning of Colors". Color Psychology.
  7. ^ "Color Psychology 101: A Beginner's Guide to the Meaning of Colors". Color Psychology.
  8. ^ "Color Psychology 101: A Beginner's Guide to the Meaning of Colors". Color Psychology.
  9. ^ "Color Psychology 101: A Beginner's Guide to the Meaning of Colors". Color Psychology.
  10. ^ Spacey, John. "75 Types of Earth Tone". Simplicable.
  11. ^ Rimmer, Kelsie (5 August 2020). "Back to Basics: Organic Graphic Design Trends". Envato.
  12. ^ Rimmer, Kelsie (5 August 2020). "Back to Basics: Organic Graphic Design Trends". Envato.
  14. ^ Taggart, Emma (14 December 2022). "Unearth the Colorful History of Paint: From Natural Pigments to Synthetic Hues". My Modern Met.
  15. ^ "science of colour - Essential Earth Colours for Art".
  16. ^ "What are Earth Pigments? A Guide to Ochres, Oxides, and Minerals". Natural Earth Paint.