Several years ago, when I reentered the retail world, I had to relearn an elementary school science lesson: ROY G. BIV, the acronym for the colors that make up the rainbow - Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. It sounded simple enough, but what about the other colors? I learned that Pink is light red, peach is light orange, teal comes before blue, black goes after violet, and grey is light black. Why was this important in retail? Like an elementary school classroom, our store took science seriously and arranged apparel in an orderly ROY G. BIV fashion, perfectly lined up against the wall or at a wooden table.
Arranging solid shirts according to ROY G. BIV was easy enough, but I soon learned that prints didn't have to follow ROY G. BIV as strictly as the solids. Perhaps they were the teacher’s pets. A red, orange and yellow multicolored shirt could sit wherever he pleased as long as he didn't sit next to another print. ROY had an important color story to tell, and a print sitting next to a print was a visual interruption. And if the pampered print shirts weren't annoying enough, I learned that G. BIV considered himself to be a cool color and didn't want to hang out with warm ROY.
I spent nine years watching apparel tell their color stories: the little black dress revealing her sophistication, elegance, and style, and the white dress indicating her purity or simplicity.
I haven’t forgotten ROY G. BIV. It reminds me that we, too, have a story to tell. We can do a little ROY G BIVing, too.
Symbolizing excitement, energy, and speed, a red sweater might be a wise choice when we drag in on Monday, but it also symbolizes aggression; in fact, some car insurance companies charge more for red cars. December in retail was a nightmare. Sometimes I wondered what would happen if we changed our store’s décor to pink (caring) and beige (pleasantness)? Or what would happen if I change my busyness to caring?
Orange demands attention and symbolizes enthusiasm. When Clinique promoted their fragrance, Happy, we enthusiastically participated by sporting our different shades of orange. At work or play, enthusiasm is a worthwhile addition.
Yellow, which happens to be my favorite color, symbolizes imagination, friendship, summertime, and hope. After the cold winter, spring is a season of anticipation. We run to our windows praising the warm sunny days, knowing vacations and gatherings with family and friends draw closer.
Green is not only associated with envy but also luck. What color is our money? What a coincidence.
Blue, another favorite of mine, has been known to have a calming effect and lower blood pressure. If a cold, dreary week is followed by a blue sky, let it remind you of God’s calming hand and of his faithfulness.
Purple, or violet, is a popular color for Easter because it symbolizes royalty. It’s also believed to relieve migraines. I once considered sending a note to corporate: paint the shoe department purple during the Easter season. Purple is also a mysterious color. Wow, what if the fresh coat of paint brought back all the missing "other" shoes?
Easter. There isn't a better season to talk about a color story. Retail stores want their products to be as appealing as a basket of dyed eggs. The Greek word baptizo was often used to describe the procedure in which a piece of cloth was dipped into dye, resulting in an entirely new color.
I've never dyed cloth but have baptized many Easter eggs with my kids. We never ROY G. BIVed them, though. The eggs that always stood out to me were the purple or green. Green is not only luck and envy but also renewal. Purple is not only royalty and mystery but also transformation. We have a chance to renew and transform our living with strength, balance, joy, generosity, truth, sincerity, and wisdom. Easter is a time to find new life, to be baptized by a Savior who transforms our living.