In 2009, the International Colour Association (ICA) adopted a Portuguese proposal to investigate the impact of colour in our lives. With that, International Colour Day was born, celebrated on March 21 each year. Many activities are held to explore our relationship with colour, including exhibitions, workshops debates, contests and design, architectural, fashion, and scientific events.

Colour: a passion

Thanks to our visual perception, colour is one of the most influential phenomena in our lives. Travel the world and you’ll notice how popular colours vary from place to place. In some countries, certain meanings and symbolism are attributed to different colours. Colour is everywhere and our reactions to it are very individual, as PPG ANZ Colour Specialist and designer, Fiona Dawson, knows all too well. To celebrate International Colour Day, we asked her to tell us what she’s noticed about the way we approach colour in this region.

Fiona is so passionate about colour that she’s made a career out of it, sharing her love and expertise of colour’s powerful potential to transform spaces and brighten up people’s lives. She has consulted on residential and commercial projects, and for the last six years has immersed herself in the colourful world of Taubmans paints and its endless possibilities.

Through her travels, collaborations and consultations around the world, Fiona is in a position to offer unique insights into the way we approach colour in Australia and New Zealand - our particular colour personality, if you like. Her insights might just help you find your perfect colour– and it might be a shade you never even imagined.

Fiona hosts a Live Colour Session on Taubmans' Facebook page every Thursday to share her colour advice, and you can ask her any questions regarding colours! Everyone is welcome.

Our big love for white

Ask Fiona the biggest challenge she faces during consultations and she is unequivocal. It’s how to deal with our 'favourite colour' - white.

Knowing how the smallest difference in your colour choice can completely transform a space, Fiona regularly works to instil confidence in people to inject some colour. Even if that colour is white.

White has a complete palette of shades, so understanding that a cool white works better in a well-lit area, while a warm white can be more effective in an area lacking natural light can make a huge difference to how well a space works.

Because we live in a region with such bright daylight, it’s also important to consider the glare factor when selecting white for exteriors. While common sense says white deflects heat, having to put on your sunglasses to offset the glare from the morning sun is not what anyone is looking for.

What’s in a name?

The association between colours and our emotions is well documented and Fiona sees this powerful association play out, every single day.

For her, colour is a universal language – often quite literally. It’s not uncommon when going through the final colour scheme with clients that they’ll see the name of a colour (regardless of the shade) and decide immediately that it’s the colour for them. And often, it’s a colour they had originally dismissed as a no-go zone. But they’re so drawn to the name that it makes it into the final colour scheme.

Finding your true colours

With so many colours and shades to choose from, it can be difficult to find the exact colour you’re looking for until you see a colour that ‘speaks to you’. The Coloursmith® app makes it easy to discover your perfect shade and make it your own. You simply upload a photo and scan the colours until you find one that you love. Once you do, name it and the app generates a QR code that contains the formula for your very own shade that you can take to a store.

If you have a question about colour for Fiona, you can ask her on her each week in her live online sessions where she covers topics showcasing the different ways you can use colour to bring projects to life.