Colour Expert- Valerie Bonnardel


Today was an exciting day I had a meeting it Valerie Bonnardel, a leading colour expert and a member of the European Colour Council. We sat down and simply spoke about colour, aspects she was interested in, as well as some meanings and symbolism behind colour, to help with my colour therapy research.


Before I met up with her I noted down some questions that I was keen to get answered, particularly I wanted to learn more about the origins of colour therapy and whether solar rooms where truly real.

Refer to Sketchbook 1


During the interview I wrote down some notes to record all the interesting information that was talked about.


What I learnt
  • Cultural differences and meanings of colour
  • Universal colour meanings – Cultural standards
  • Idea that western world has organised colour in a linear way, opposite to how we percieve colour in our brains (circular colour wheel) –  whereas other countries such as India have no interest in doing this
  • Women have more respecters than men so should be able to see more colour theoretically but don’t actually use these extra respecters – But what if they did? 
  • Light is the partner to colour – Colour therapy is more to do with light than colour
  • LED’s play with your biological clock – strong blue lighting which isn’t natural especially in the evening, where in primial times the fire would be lit and people would see through an orange glow. However what about moonlight? 
  • The short wave lengths of LED’s damage the eye retenors in the eyes.
Points of interest

Above I have highlighted my main points of interest (in purple). I found the information that women have more receptors than men intriguing as this is not something I’ve heard about before. It makes me question what more they could see if their receptors did work and why they don’t work in the first place. I feel there could be a very interesting narrative connected to this idea, of how woman can see more detail than men and the secret messages that women leave for each other, as they try to take over the human race. Its certainly a concept to think about, whether I look more into this area I am undecided at the moment, however if I do pick colour after this phase as a theme I can delve further into this if I wish.

From the conversation I learnt that colour therapy is more to do with coloured light shining on someone rather than simply colour. I find it interesting that I never made that connection before, I just assumed it was the colour that was doing all the work, whereas light does have a part to play as well. Which leads me onto to thinking that perhaps I need to look more into light as a topic as well as colour. As I feel this could indirectly bring up more information which relates to colour therapy and therefore help me to better understand the process and successes of the therapy.

Lastly I was intrigued as to the concept that it is better for us to see warm coloured light during the evening to help us sleep, relating it back to fires in primal times. Though there was an unexplained issue with moonlight being such a cold blue tone and it being shown at night, that how could cold coloured light cause bad sleeping patterns. I was curious as to why this was and Valerie didn’t have an answer for me. I feel researching into this further could unearth some ground-breaking information that could create for a highly innovative game concept. So I feel that I may wish to take this forward if I do decided upon colour therapy as my theme of choice.



Looking over the notes I made for the talk, it is clear Valerie has a vast knowledge of colour and is very passionate about it and this built up the passion in me. Everything she talked about was very informative and nothing I’d learnt before, therefore I found the talk to be very useful in broadened out my research and knowledge of colour.

However, I realise now I didn’t learn as much about colour therapy as I would have hoped, due to this not being an area of expertise for Valerie. I found this to be a little disappointing, because I really wanted to know from a reliable source that colour therapy has valid scientific backing, as well as gain a definitively answer as whether Egyptian solar rooms are actually real, in order for me to know what to focus on and what to scrap as it.

Perhaps I could have solved this by researching more into Valerie before I spoke to her, learning where her speciality lied and then possibly changing my interview to someone with more knowledge in the specific area I was looking into. However I still found our conversation greatly inspiring and informative, as I learnt so much from such a short time. Also Valerie later contacted me and gave me a book to look into to help with my colour therapy research. Therefore I’d still say the interview was a success and if I continued this theme after the presentation I will be sure to keep in contact with her, as a reliable source of information.