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This article is part of a series on the Frutiger Family

Four Colors was a frequently used color scheme found in consumer products and consumer technology during the Mid-2000s to the Mid-2010s, first primarily seen around 2004 as a part of Apple's iPod "Silhouette" advertising campaign. It is a subgenre of Superflat Pop and Frutiger Aero and prominently consists of the colors electric lime, sky blue, hot pink and neon orange. This color palette and the visuals of the aesthetic overlaps with Bright Tertiaries, which uses tertiaries colors like teal, lime green, and orange or fuchsia, as well as flat humanist designs. Four Colors is popular in Japan with stores and brands such as Daiso, Sony and Fujifilm.

History[]

Origins (Late-1990s/Early-2000s)[]

Four Colors' roots dates back to the Late-1990s, forming as parts of Superflat Pop, Y2K Futurism, and primitive Frutiger Aero. During this primitive period, Four Colors was primarily used for different-color variants of videogame consoles, primarily the Nintendo 64.

N64colors

Nintendo 64 (1996) color variants - featuring the "Funtastic Series"[1] containing 6 consoles, as well as featuring other color variants.

Prime (2000s)[]

Four Colors' prime began in October 2003[2] when Apple began the "Silhouette" iPod advertising campaign. Apple reportedly spent $49.6 million on the ‘‘Silhouette’’ campaign between January and August of 2004, being majorly influential on Four Colors' widespread success and adoption in the West. Four Colors continued to be heavily popular during the "Frutiger" time period, generally seeing increased use in consumer technology (eg. iPod, Wii, PlayStation 2, 3, etc.) as well as miscellaneous advertising.

Decline (Mid 2010s)[]

Four Colors continued to be popular until the Mid-2010s, when the Frutiger Family of aesthetics were in decline. Companies began focusing more on Flat Design and being uniform, omitting the personalization and eye-catching color combinations. By 2017, Flat Design and other aesthetics such as Corporate Memphis had completely phased out Four Colors, giving way to a new era.

The Alpha Kids from the webcomic Homestuck might reflect Four Colors, with each color designated to one of the four kids: Jane (Blue), Jake (Green), Roxy (Pink), and Dirk (Orange).

Japan (Post-2014/15)[]

Four Colors still sees varied degrees of success in Japan and is still relatively popular despite its decline in the West.

Visuals[]

The visuals of Four Colors consist of flat visuals that predominantly use four colors: Electric Lime, Sky Blue, Hot Pink, Neon Orange; this coincides with the colors of different seasons in Japan. Four Colors can also host a wider range of colors too, forming a rainbow. However, the main colors are usually the ones mentioned above. These visuals are often utilized in conjunction with consumer products or corporate designs. Four Colors is also sometimes featured in videogame box-art.

Media[]

Music Videos[]

Television[]

  • The Fresh Beat Band (2009-2013)

Anime[]

  • Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan

Electronics[]

  • Nintendo 64 (1996)
  • iPod Nano/Shuffle (2005)
  • Motorola Pebl (2005)
  • Nintendo Wii (2006)
  • iPhone 5C (2013)

Games[]

  • Katamari series (2004–2023)
  • Just Dance series (2009–2024)
  • Wii Party (2010)

Webcomics[]

  • Homestuck (2009-2016)

Gallery[]

Links[]

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