“A marmite, love it or loathe it shade”: we asked a colour analyst about Charli XCX’s Brat green

The album artwork – which has caused contention online – is intended to be an “offensive, off-trend shade of green to trigger the idea of something being wrong”.

In a new interview for Vogue Singapore, Charli XCX has detailed the meaning behind the minimal, bright green artwork for her forthcoming new release Brat. I wanted to go with an offensive, off-trend shade of green to trigger the idea of something being wrong,” she explained. “I’d like for us to question our expectations of pop culture—why are some things considered good and acceptable, and some things deemed bad? I’m interested in the narratives behind that and I want to provoke people. I’m not doing things to be nice.”

In light of the apparent controversy Charli has sparked with her colour choice, we turned to a colour analysis expert – yes, that trend you’ll have encountered on TikTok – about the psychology behind the shade of green. “Funnily enough, I am actually wearing a jumper today in the exact colour of this album cover!” The Colour Counsellor – aka Jules Standish – says.

“To me, it’s a ‘lime’ green. This is an interesting shade because most of the green palette is psychologically seen as calming, peaceful, balancing and restful on the eyes. Green is a colour that resonates strongly with nature and all the positive things we associate with it, as it’s often seen as the colour of life. However, lime is a shade that is visually stimulating due to the amount of yellow in the green mix. This makes lime stand out, literally grabbing the limelight. It will definitely be a marmite, love it or loathe it shade, but one that will get people’s attention and create a reaction. A clever choice of album cover to get noticed.”

“In colour analysis, lime green belongs to the warmer palettes of spring and autumn,” Standish – a self-proclaimed ‘warm spring’ palette flattered by Brat green – adds. “The brighter shades harmonise with the spring and the richer limes with autumn.”


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Affirming Charli’s intentions to “provoke people”, Standish adds that “lime green could be seen as a sickly shade due to its strong yellow base – it’s the one that doesn’t conform to the green norm and therefore challenges our perception. Some will see it as uplifting and optimism and others as off-key, unpalatable, and challenging! Clearly she has used the latter stance to create a reaction and to communicate her message in a thought-provoking way.”

With Charli dropping the full album tracklist today, fans are still divided too. “I’m actually obsessed with the Brat shade of green — it’s just so in-your-face and almost impossible to ignore, which I feel is the perfect vibe for this album and era. It’s got this ruthless, ‘I don’t give a f***’ energy,” fan account CHARLI XCX UPDATES told us. “Personally, I wouldn’t rock it ’cause I don’t think I could do it justice, but I’m totally into the idea of collecting stuff in that colour. Like, imagine having a lighter or phone case in Brat green? I think it’s safe to say Charli hit the nail on the head with this colour choice for the era — it got people all riled up, making them feel some type of way. So, I guess you could say the Brat green is officially the colour of everyone’s nightmares now.”

Elsewhere in the new interview, Charli spoke about her underground club roots, and channelling those influences on Brat, as well as the importance of the queer community in her career. “I truly feel like I wouldn’t have a career without the LGBTQ+ community,” she said. “They have made so much possible for me and supported me when everyone else had given up. It feels right for me to try my best to amplify that community wherever possible. It feels very natural to me.”

Brat – which Charli said “is going to be confrontational” – is due out this summer.