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The New Blue — YInMn blue

Interiors and colour go hand in hand; colour is such an important element and huge contributor toward the success of a design. Colour trends and ‘colour of the year’ is a cycle we have become used to. There are a huge spectrum of colours ranging in hues, tones, tints and shades.

Then suddenly, a new pigment of blue is discovered!

The spectrum, combinations and development of colour as we know it, could dramatically change due to this ‘new blue’.

Introducing YInMn

This new blue pigment is called YInMn, (assumingly pronounced ‘yinmin’), and was discovered in 2009 by chemist Mas Subramanian and his team at Oregon State University.

YInMn Blue Pigment - A new colour blue discovered

Art Net explains how the scientists encountered the new colour by accident whilst conducting electronics experiments:

“For one series of tests, the scientists mixed black manganese oxide with a variety of chemicals and heated them to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The name comes from the pigment’s elemental make-up, which includes Yttrium, Indium and Manganese.” —Art Net 2016

Chemist Mas Subramanian - Found of YInMn Blue

Chemist, Mas Subramanian Courtesy of Oregon State University — Source

What is so special about this blue?

It has plenty of defining qualities other than it’s vibrant colour. It does not fade, and if mixed with oil or water, there is no impact on the saturation of the colour. It is also extremely stable and is non-toxic.

For interior design, this means there might be an influx of finishes and colour ways, which include this stunning blue. This could add a desirable edge to the world of interiors.

The impact of this new blue is reminiscent of the visual attraction ‘Majorelle Gardens’, in Marrakesh. The Majorelle blue used in Majorelle Gardens is similar to YInMn blue. It suggests an injection of vibrancy and brilliant boldness to the blue hue.

The Majorelle Gardens in Majorelle blue

The Majorelle Gardens

YInMn blue is more durable and safer to use than similar blue pigments. It has the benefit of being made of stable compounds and a unique crystal structure. It also seems to be a new contributor for energy efficiency — it could help to keep homes cool when used to paint roofs. This visually appealing pigment has many characteristics which would be beneficial for designers, artists, architects and engineers.

It is already gearing up to be used for a wide range of coatings and plastics. There is also word of paint and glass companies being in liaison with George T. Peake about the pigment.

George T. Peake is the research and development manager at Shepheard Colour Company, this is where this new colour is licensed and patented. Tests are being carried out with the new blue before it becomes widely available. Peake has stated that “this new blue pigment is a sign that there are new pigments to be discovered”.

Masquespacio's workspace waiting area

Masquespacios’ Workspace: Waiting Area — Source

This discovery found through error offers new possibilities beyond the realms of colour. It will no doubt feature within the design industry, without apology.

Traces of this is seen in the fall fashion colour report by Pantone who say, “the desire for tranquillity, strength, and optimism have inspired a Fall 2016 colour palette that is led by the blue family” (Pantone 2016).

This makes YInMn a worthy colour trend or colour of the year candidate for the future. Further than this, YInMn has been added to the Forbes Pigment Collection in the world history of colour. Adding to the tranquil nature that blue exudes, YInMn blue brings a striking balance of brilliance and strength. It’s success will surely enrich and evolve blue as we know it.

Masquespacios workspace, blue and yellow

Masquespacio’s Workspace — Source





Art Net (2016) The Chemist Who Discovered the World’s Newest Blue Explains Its Miraculous Properties: [accessed 7.7.16]

The Skeptics Guide (2016) Yinmn is the new blue: [accessed 7.7.16]

Pantone (2016) Fashion Colour Report: [accessed 8.7.16]

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