You’re driving down the road on an overcast day. Everything is gray and bleak. The road is dark. The sidewalks are plain and simple. The only vivid color you see for blocks is a red stop sign because all the houses are dun, pale yellow, boring shades of blue and white. Even the cars aren’t vivid, until you see that one bright yellow car that seems to catch your eye. Then you pass a house that’s painted bright purple and you notice it more than the others.
Soon you’ll be out of the suburbs. You don’t think much of it but there’s not much to look at. You’re just paying attention to the road when–bam!–you notice that a once quaint and simple coffee shop on the corner has a new mural painted on it in stunning blues, pinks and reds. You slow down to study the mural, then notice a sign that says “Free cookie with purchase of coffee.”
Hmmm, you wonder, and your stomach does the same. It’s fairly early in the morning, about the time you usually get a coffee anyways, and so finding a parking space is easy. But then you remember you have a coupon for a free coffee at McDonald’s because you go there everyday punching out your “buy 10 get one free” card.
Before you decide to drive away from the little coffee shop, you catch a glimpse of the owner working at the till. He’s an old man, looks nice. Then you read a sign that says “Locally owned and operated.” Hmmm, your stomach rumbles again. “I want that free cookie!”
Three minutes later the cookie is in your stomach and you’re pulling out of the parking spot. Now you ask yourself would you have slowed down to read those signs on the business if that new mural hadn’t been painted there. You try to remember what the mural looked like, still not knowing what it was–some strange abstract design the old man could’ve done himself.
But you’ve been meaning to support more small local businesses after watching a meaningful Ted Talk the other week, and so you decide to go there again. A week later, after going there for your coffee five times, you notice the mural has changed, and the shop is now busier than you remember it being. A year passes by. Now the shop has been renovated and it has a big bright sign on the front that could compete with any McDonald’s. Three more years pass by, and the McDonald’s you used to go to closes down. This quaint old man who loves his murals buys the vacant property, and starts a new franchise…
This is the power of vivid colors on architecture. Use it well, my friends!