What colors go with which subject?

Blue is math and red is history


Richard Feng / Talon

We all know the rainbow because of the saying “ROYGBIV,” but when it comes to school subjects, what color are they? Math, science, English, history, foreign languages and electives all give off energies that fit certain colors of the rainbow.  For whatever reason, it is topics such as these that tend to fuel the most argumentative fire within all of us. Yes, they may just be colors — but somehow being correct about which one to associate with each subject seemed like a necessary feat to have accomplished. We based these colors on many facets; we drew from anything from our notebook and textbook colors to how the classes make us feel; even the subject matter of each class contributed to what color we tend to associate with it. 

Math – a purely painful subject for many high school students. With that pain you would expect math to be red, but it’s actually blue. This is probably the most controversial of the subject colors. In fact, our math class was overtaken by a heated debate in which we argued whether math was red or blue. Our teacher said it was blue – thus resolving the argument in our class – but we agreed, and are writing as such here. With that heated debate and coming to a conclusion even our math teacher agreed with, the answer has to be blue. 

Science – this one goes completely without saying. Science is, completely inarguably, green. Anyone who challenges that is simply wrong. This subject, a lot of the time, revolves around the Earth (science pun – get it?) and what color do we associate with the Earth? Green. Yes, technically it would be more blue, but I think we all know that doesn’t fit. This one is a closed case. 

English- The joy of reading books that are outdated, but somehow still related to our daily lives… Isn’t there something very Shakespearean – in a high school socratic seminar kind of way – about the color yellow? We definitely think so. The incessant pile-on of books in our English classes takes on an immense amount of stress, as well as an immense amount of Sparknotes, and of course, the yellow pages. For that reason, we’ve all associated English with the color yellow. 

History – The class that is full of battles, blood, and the red white and blue flag. Since the color red is a predominant color within history classes, it obviously has to be red. It just fits. Especially with American history. If we were talking about all colors, orange could also be a possibility for this one – but seeing as most people don’t use orange in defining the colors of different subjects, we’ll stick with red for history.

For electives – We think that there is an unconscious choice that an elective, or an easier class, can be associated with a color that is perceived as being more fun. Somehow, purple is almost always made to be that color. And it’s not just us that feel that way – it’s a decision, whether we’re aware of it or not, that a lot of people make. And what’s not purple about an easy A film elective? Nothing. It’s fitting of the fun color we attribute to it. 

Foreign languages are a more complex issue; it certainly depends on what language you’re taking in order to attribute a color to it. For example, French and Spanish are definitely not the same color, and to throw them both under one color label would be undermining each one as an individual class. For that reason, foreign language colors are much more individually subjective. 

While it is technically up to you what color you pick for your school subjects, these were our picks based on multiple discussions with our peers, teachers, and just drawing from personal opinion. We would say these are the only correct answers but, obviously, we can’t speak on behalf of everyone (as much as we wish we could.)