Colours fit for purpose

Most of us judge things by colour first. Colour affects what we choose to buy and our enjoyment of the everyday environment, however subliminal. Thus the designer's role as colour specifier can be crucial.

Regular London commuters will seldom enjoy a near empty train as I did on Sunday. Free of clutter this modern interior was thought provoking. Its mix of pale blue and grey bulkheads, against muted orange grab rails and red checked upholstery sounds an odd combination. But it fits its purpose.

Fast forward to my destination, Tate Modern. Here, and predictably for an art environment, the backdrop is mono-tonal, white walls, with black and grey. Beyond the space and the art on show, visual stimulation is the information graphics. Bold text in brilliant green remains ingrained in my mind.

Perhaps it's no wonder that some designers are inclined to dress in black. Its give a strong impression but avoids any other visual statement. Colour is important - we should talk about it more often.