The color violet

We assign one color from the light spectrum to each issue of Prism. Learn more about the color concept and the current focus color: violet.

Each issue of the new Prism will feature one focus topic. It will deal with issues that are relevant to every employee. We will examine the topic just like we would through a prism: by looking at it from many different perspectives and at all of its facets. To help the focus topic stand out visually, it is marked with a specific color from the light spectrum in each issue. This time, the color is violet.

We are OSRAM: focus color violet

As a global group, we place great value on diversity and working together harmoniously, and this is precisely what the color violet embodies. Its hues range from crimson to blue-violet – colors that are far apart on the light spectrum, but still have a harmonious effect in spite of this difference.

The diversity of this color is also revealed in the different names that we sometimes even use synonymously. The correct description from the field of physics is violet. However, because the eye can differentiate between numerous shades of violet, many further terms have taken root in our language. With purple, mauve, lavender and lilac, a language like English has a wide range of other names for the different shades of violet, which are all somewhere on the continuum between blue and red. Other common alternatives to violet include magenta, periwinkle and plum.

The term “violet” derives from the name of the flower. The color’s namesake is also very multifaceted: The viola family encompasses more than 500 species.

Here are a few more interesting, whimsical facts about the color violet:

  • For centuries, violet was one of the most highly valued colors. The pigment was extracted from the secretion of sea snails in a complicated procedure – it is said that around 10,000 sea snails were required to manufacture just one gram of purple. It is no wonder that wearing violet fabrics was a privilege long reserved for the powerful and rich.

  • Starting in the late 19th century, the women’s rights movement helped to democratize the color violet. In England, women’s rights activists marched through the streets wearing purple sashes, demanding voting rights for women. In the women’s movement of the 1970s, purple overalls became a heavily symbolic item of clothing.

  • Purple asparagus is white asparagus whose tips have been dyed by sunlight. What is good about it is that the dying process protects the asparagus against harmful UV radiation. It contains high levels of antioxidants – which make it especially healthy.

  • “The Color Purple” is a famous novel by the author Alice Walker. It received both the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize – and was adapted for film by Steven Spielberg in 1985. In this literary classic, the color purple is a symbol of the will to fight and the courage of the female protagonist – who is played by Whoopi Goldberg in the film.

  • In 2004, the color purple even made it to court: The German Federal Court of Justice decided that Milka was the only chocolate manufacturer allowed to package its chocolate in purple wrapping.

  • In 1984, the song “Purple Rain” helped put the pop musician Prince on the map. What many people don’t know is that Prince also played the main character in the film musical of the same name.