An orange cinema sign stands out against a blue sky.

Starring… teal and orange

For a blockbuster finish, pair striking teal with orange.

Next time you watch a modern Hollywood movie, pay close attention to the predominant colours used in the background. Notice any hues in particular? If you were struck by an excessive amount of orange and teal, you’re on the money.

Why? Because flesh tones are in the orange spectrum, and one of orange’s complementary shades just happens to be teal. The theory is that by using a blue-based colour for the background, the actors’ faces will ‘pop’ out of the screen. It’s all done digitally, and some say this new trend is making every film look the same while others deny that it’s so common that it’s hard to notice the difference. So, next time you’re in the cinema, take a closer look at the art director’s choice of colours and see if you can spot the teal and orange treatment.

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