Shades of Grey: Is the world losing its colour? Viral internet post says yes

London, United Kingdom — A viral post on social sharing site Tumblr puts it in black and white: the world is losing its colour.

Using the United Kingdom-based Science Museum Group’s dataset of 7,083 objects from 21 categories spanning over 200 years of history as a source, Tumblr user Macleod Sawyer argues that cars, restaurant facades and home interior trends have shifted away from colour and toward more neutral tones–gray, white and black–instead.

In the sourced dataset, the Science Museum Group’s analysts mapped out the most common object colours by time and shade, creating a map of colour preferences changing over the years. Wooden and metallic tones have been a timeless classic, hinting towards the craftsmanship and quality of the material. A dominant colour in the time before plastics, it slowly lost out to brighter colours between the 1960s and 2000s, with monochrome tones becoming more ubiquitous after 1980.

According to an article by the Science Museum Group Digital Lab, this change in colour largely reflects changes in materials used in different components – woods and metals shifting to silicon and plastic, as the primary change.

Does this really change the auto industry? Probably, but not directly.

Historically, black, white and grey have consistently dominated the auto industry as the colour of choice for most commercial fleets and consumer vehicles. Simultaneously, our collective shift towards modernist, monochrome colour palettes, combined with consumers seeking more personalized options has resulted in vehicle colours seeing more demand as of late.

Image credit: Reddit user Feemiror

What colours have risen and waned in popularity at your shop over the years? Let us know in the comments below!


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