Il sito americano The Awl, generalmente molto attento ai fenomeni della pop culture dei cosiddetti «millenial» (che poi, spesso, non si sentono tali), ha ricostruito la storia del colore chartreuse (che prende il nome dal colore dell’omonimo liquore), a quanto pare una delle tonalità più usate negli uffici delle start-up:
Bandwagon chartreuse offices and interiors around the world include: Meltwater,squaretrade, Microsoft Startup Labs, Airbnb, Cisco, The One Workspace Headquarters in Santa Clara, the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, the publishers of the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment in Sunnyvale, Zendesk everywhere, chat software producers LivePerson NYC, half of these “inspirational collaborative workspaces” for Generation Y, ad agency 22squaredin Atlanta (pictured), this chartreuse abuse at tech company Koninklijke Philips in Somerset, this so-cool-it’s-serious coworking space Kleverdog in Los Angeles, Microsoft in Vienna, an alien-themed collaborative workspace in Spain, and Google everywhere, but especially this shire of chartreuse inside Google Dublin, among others.
Chartreuse balances opposing moods. Green is universally adored. Consistently votedsecond place in favorite-color surveys, green signifies “calming” and “peaceful,” and connotes nature and ecology across cultures. Tech companies can safely use the color for interior decorating and branding to win everyone over, with very few exceptions. (In Israel, it spells bad news, and in China, a green hat symbolizes that a man’s wife is cheating on him.) Yellow, on the other hand, can be a risk: It is the world’s least favorite color. Although it can radiate happiness and extroversion, it can also be diseased, jaundiced, insane, like Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” about a woman driven mad by the “sickly sulphur tint” of her wall decoration. It’s the color of cowardice, like the yellow-bellied wimps of old Westerns. Interior designers want to add vibrancy to a startup’s palette, but they tread gingerly down yellow roads, brick or otherwise.