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Mid Century Engineering January 24, 2015 20:25

Spent the entire day having fun with the photos we used for the slider gallery on the Home page. What fun! What do you think of them? 

Of course people always ask, "What do those pics have to do with Muse? Or widgets? Or anything, really?" And the answer is, "Not much, actually." The truth is, they were inspiration for the website theme: "Mid Century Engineering." (We'll be posting that theme to our Templates list soon.)

I always wanted to create a theme around this enigmatic "engineering green" color. I noticed that during the Atomic and Space Age period of the 50s and 60s, all the engineering equipment, drafting and architectural furniture, technology cabinetry and "command center stations" were either gray or this version of "ledger green." I dubbed it "engineering green" in my search for its roots, but I came up empty-handed when searching for specifics about the color. In fact, an amazing percentage of people denied it's existence, calling me crazy -- they insisted everything was gray, until I showed them pictures. I even looked up clips from Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks to show that Mission Control had green stuff everywhere, amid pocket protectors, slide rules, horned-rim glasses and hair grease. 

Here are some theories to this green's origin:

  • It's a shade of various military greens, probably from the army. Was there a designated color palette issued by the Department of Design and Color Theory?
  • It was simply a common color used during the period, much like neon colors from the 80s, or earth tones of the 70s.
  • The green is easy on the eyes, according to.... no studies found.
  • The green held particular reflective and refractive qualities, making it ideal for vision in low light, according to my own mind making things up.

Several of those theories sound plausible, but I'm not convinced. There's got to be something out there somewhere that mandates a particular Pantone color (although they weren't established until 1963.) So if anyone has any information regarding why this particular shade of green was commonplace, please leave a comment. 

Meanwhile, you can find our color palette on ColourLovers.com as well as Adobe Color.

Muse Supply Co color palette