The Colour Orange

16 October 2019
Orange, an uplifting colour of autumn among other things, apparently represents fascination, stimulation and creativity.  So, I thought I would dip into the collection and find objects that are not only orange, but also have a fascinating purpose, will stimulate conversation about design in plastics and inspire creative thought.  Plastics are able to take colour completely – not just a covering – so plastic objects that are orange, can be made to look particularly vibrant.


My first object is a ‘Novelty orange pencil sharpener’ which imitates a real orange with great attention to detail. This shows the playful side of plastic as it is almost a surprise to discover, that this apparent orange, actually turns out to be a pencil sharpener!


My second object is the infamous ‘Orange Panton chair’ (injection moulded polypropylene) which readily stimulates discussion about the design of this tough, consistently dyed chair.  As well as being a design icon, this chair demonstrates how well polypropylene is able to take on a strong colour such as orange.



My third object is a pair of ‘Jelly Jolly boots’, the soles of which are again injection moulded, this time using a bright orange PVC.  Maybe they could inspire you to create a complete costume around them for a performance or exhibition, or perhaps develop and create a character in a play or story – someone who might wear a pair of boots like these. 



These appropriately called Jelly Jolly boots, also reflect another meaning of the colour orange – happiness – so they will help you walk through autumn with a much jollier step!

Julia Pulman, Museum Digital Communications Officer.