Main content

Wayne Hemingway tells the story of Vantablack, the blackest black, which Anish Kapoor has bought exclusive rights to.

Designer Wayne Hemingway looks at five colours that have been at the centre of ownership and trademark battles, revealing the complex status of colours in our society - their artistic, commercial and cultural impact.

He explores our response to colour - whether it's the red soles of designer shoes, the blue strip of a football team or the purple of a chocolate bar wrapper - interviewing those involved in branding, advertising and IP, as well as the psychologists, scientists , colour gurus, artists and those creating the colours of tomorrow using Nanotechnology.

Programme 5 - Black
Whether black is a colour is debatable. Unlike colours which are created from the reflection of different wavelengths of light, black is created from the absorption of light. Wayne tells the story of Vantablack - the blackest black created which, unlike other blacks, absorbs all but a tiny (less than 0.04%) of light. Anish Kapoor has bought exclusive rights to the black. Wayne concludes the series by questioning the rights of colour ownership.

Producer: Sara Parker
A Juniper production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Wed 11 Oct 2017 09:30

More episodes


Coming soon

See all episodes from Owning Colour


  • Fri 14 Apr 2017 13:45
  • Wed 11 Oct 2017 09:30

How companies use colour to sell to us

How companies use colour to sell to us

Colour affects us psychologically and emotionally, which is why it's harnessed by brands.