Warning: Once you read this, there is no turning back. You will begin to see this everywhere, it may even haunt your dreams. Okay, probably not, but you will see this everywhere. Like when you end a long term relationship and every person you see is dating. If you’re okay with that, continue reading.
A couple years ago my buddy Aaron opened me up to the world of Orange / Blue contrast. Now, I do graphic design so I am familiar with complimentary colors. Looking at a color wheel you will notice that colors on opposite ends of the wheel tend to “compliment” each other; Orange/Blue, Purple/Yellow, Magenta/Green and so on. But I was unfamiliar that this was a trope within film and video games. Since He told me I cannot un see it. Maybe you’re not sure what I’m talking about, below are some examples.
Not, only does Orange Blue contrast dominate in the realm of movie posters and graphics but also in film. Don’t believe me? Start watching media with orange blue contrast in mind. Perhaps you’re a fan of 24 (CTU blue, in the Field Orange), Hunger Games (Districts blue, Villains orange) for an exhaustive list of this contrast appearing in everything from Anime to real life, check out this post.
The question this leads me to is why? There are actually reasons beyond the fact the combination of complimentary colors really “pops.”
Unlike other pairs of complementary colors, fiery orange and cool blue are strongly associated with opposing concepts: fire and ice, land and sea, day and night, invested humanism vs. elegant indifference, good old fashioned explosions vs. futuristic science stuff. – TVTropes.org
I was reminded of this as I watched the latest 300 movie. All scenes shot in Sparta were highly orange saturated in order to bring forth the raw aggressive nature of the Spartan society. Athens on the other hand was portrayed with blue hues due because they were a more forward thinking democratic society.
If you hadn’t already, you will begin to see this used all over the place. When you do make sure to blame my friend Aaron.
You cannot escape the orange blue contrast!