Orange est le nouveau noir

Sunset Orange | The Sublime Color That Can Both Energize and Ease Your Mind

Color Story Sunset Orange icon

In the stress of our day-to-day lives, it’s all too rare to stop and appreciate the sunset. It’s a shame, too — because there’s nothing quite like taking a moment to feel the day’s worries fade with the warm light as your mind and body adjust to the rhythm of the evening. Take a moment to appreciate that liminal space between day and night, and allow yourself to enjoy the warmth of sunset orange.

Between Day and Night

John Frederic Kensett clearly understood the feelings provoked by the color. His painting Sunset on the Sea captures the orange tones of the setting sun, suspended between the tranquil complementary blues of sea and sky.

Sunset orange color story: Sunset on the Sea by John Frederick Kensett 1872; oil on canvas,

Sunset on the Sea by John Frederick Kensett, 1872, oil on canvas

Sun Worshiper’s Delight

Sunset orange calls to mind not just the magnificence of the evening sky but the unique contentment of reclining on your beach towel after a long day of swimming and sunbathing, taking a ripe orange and peeling it perfectly or sipping your favorite orange soda (quite a variety to choose from: Orangina to Crush to Cactus Cooler) poolside. All is right in a sunset orange state of mind.

sunset orange color story

Getty Images

Orange You Glad…

From the hue of a goldfish (many people’s first pet) to the leisurely activities of a summer evening, sunset orange fills us with a glowing nostalgia like no other color.

Sunset orange color story

Getty Images; Annie Spratt / Unsplash (umbrellas)

“Drinkin’ in Sunshine”

Love hit Nat King Cole with a “Flash, Bam, Alakazam out of the orange colored sky.” The American jazz pianist and vocalist wasn’t the only one to croon about the color. Frank Sinatra is noting as having once said, “Orange is the happiest color.”

The band R.E.M.’s Orange Crush album title and murky orange cover is yet another musical indicator that sunset orange’s allure is very finely tuned.

Nat King Cole album cover

color story sunset orange rem cover

Due West

Sunset Magazine has been in circulation since 1898. It is foremost a lifestyle publication focused almost exclusively on the Western United States. It features recipes and wine recommendations, home and garden designs and DIY outdoor and travel ideas.

In the May 1902 edition, the cover features a lady adorned head to toe in sunset orange. Readers would find the themes of the publication unchanged, with a feature on Horses of California and Timely Hints for Summer Campers.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Article contributions by Mike Allen. 

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Splash! 19 book cover

Revel in the Light

The latest edition of Splash: The Best of Watercolor is here. This volume seeks out the art that plays on the illusion and power of light. The award-winning artists whose work fills the pages of this art lover’s guide tell stories, capture moods, and evoke time and place all with color’s best companion — light. Get Splash 19 now!

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