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Labor Day and the importance of workers

On the first Monday of September, we celebrate Labor Day! The pleasure of a day off! We all rejoice and remember this particular festivity, but… why do we commemorate Labor Day? Do we understand the history and significance behind this Federal Holiday? Let’s dive in and learn more about the American labor movement and the contributions and acc... Show more

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Celebrate and share the Labor Day holiday with these designs


They say that symbols are the imaginative signposts of life!

Labor Day Color Palette

  • HEX rgb(106, 109, 128)
  • RGB rgb(106, 109, 128)
  • CMYK rgb(106, 109, 128)
  • HSL rgb(106, 109, 128)
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The perfect Labor Day color: raven gray, the soft hue that represents balance, commitment, and serenity

Raven gray is an elegant shade that is the representation of balance. It merges black and white, creating a perfect sense of neutrality. From a practical point of view, gray is also the color of architecture, of concrete, and stones. Apart from that, raven gray is always present in different tools and metals, so it’s a great hue for any color palette related to Labor Day. This shade conveys a peaceful feeling, sobriety, commitment, and sincerity. Raven gray symbolizes impartiality too. All those characteristics are key for any job position, so this hue is very appropriate when designing a company logo, for example.

  • HEX rgb(166, 98, 73)
  • RGB rgb(166, 98, 73)
  • CMYK rgb(166, 98, 73)
  • HSL rgb(166, 98, 73)
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Just add a touch of brown sugar to your designs and discover the sweetest side of life, nature, and work

Brown sugar is a lovely color, a brownish tone with touches of orange. This is a very natural shade, as its name suggests, as it has been employed since prehistoric times. You can see many cave paintings that were created using a pigment that is close to the tone of brown sugar. Many cultures like ancient Romans or Greeks considered this tone as beautiful and relevant for painting and dying everyday objects, although brown had negative connotations at the time–it was linked to poverty. Today, brown and brown sugar have to do with resilience and security, but also with a connection with our roots, the connection with earth and the comfort provided by nature. It’s also the color of those who have good self-esteem and feel confident.

  • HEX rgb(198, 145, 103)
  • RGB rgb(198, 145, 103)
  • CMYK rgb(198, 145, 103)
  • HSL rgb(198, 145, 103)
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Antique brass brown, the light color that nurtures, empowers, and creates a beautiful feeling of balance

Antique brass is a shade of light brown. Color psychology describes it by merging the positive characteristics of brown with a playful touch. It’s the color of resilience, balance, and stability, but the main characteristic of this tone is its moderation: it is a balanced color, yet vivid and somehow bright. Likewise, you can describe antique brass as the color of nature and security: according to feng shui, this hue is a nurturing one. It represents wood and energy and it enhances the power of the natural world as well. Brass, the metal, is resistant to corrosion and a steady material too, precious features that are key for companies and workers.

  • HEX rgb(237, 153, 28)
  • RGB rgb(237, 153, 28)
  • CMYK rgb(237, 153, 28)
  • HSL rgb(237, 153, 28)
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Gamboge, the yellow pigment with orange undertones used by Buddhist monks and famous 17th-century painters

Gamboge is a type of yellow that resembles hues like saffron or mustard. This is a natural pigment that is extracted from different tree species such as the gamboge and other Clusiaceae trees, together with the fruit of Garcinia gummi-gutta. It has a beautiful light orange undertone that makes the color warmer. This pigment is extremely important for Buddhists, as they use them for the monk’s robes, but not only for them. China and other Asian regions consider this color as a sacred one, as it is the representation of heroism. For their part, Europeans began using it later, around the 17th century: painters like Sir Joshua Reynolds or Rembrand employed gamboge in their works.

  • HEX rgb(235, 190, 87)
  • RGB rgb(235, 190, 87)
  • CMYK rgb(235, 190, 87)
  • HSL rgb(235, 190, 87)
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Maximum yellow red and the warmth of a sunny shade: the cheerful combination of yellow with a touch of red

Maximum yellow red is a sultry shade that combines a bright tone of yellow with some slight touches of orange. This sunny color is like an energy boost, as it symbolizes creativity, intellect, enthusiasm, and originality. It’s also the color of the Sun, so you can feel the power and warmth of this star by looking at something painted in maximum yellow red. Due to its reddish subtone, this tint conveys emotions like adventurousness, fun, and independence. Maximum yellow red is a great color to celebrate Labor Day. It expresses freedom, communicativeness and it is very stimulating. Aren’t those great emotions to get the most out of your shift?


A story of endurance, resilience and resistance — The rise and resolution of workers rights in the United States

Labor Day marks the celebration and accomplishment of a landmark fought for, and nowadays, enjoyed by millions of hardworking Americans across the nation. It serves as a reminder for all the contributions and achievements that workers endured to help the country prosper. The labor movement started Labor Day in the late 19th century, but it wasn’t till 1894 that it was declared a federal holiday. For many Americans, Labor Day weekend also marks the end of summer, as it takes place at the beginning of September, and it is packed with celebrations, parades and sporting events. Find out more about Labor Day right here!

Sept 5, 1882

The dawn of the Union

Thousands of Protests take Union Square

The first Labor Day celebration took place in New York City on September 5th, 1882, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. A parade of more than 10,000 workers went from City Hall, towards Union Square and then uptown to 42nd Street. All these workers had taken an unpaid day off in order to express their discomfort. In Wendel’s Elm park, families and workers spend the day celebrating their hard work with parades, picnics, parties, and concerts that were held to commemorate this iconic milestone. This event served as a great beacon of light to raise and spread awareness of strategies for securing better working conditions and salaries for all.

May 4, 1886

Clashes and Clamors

The Haymarket Riot

The day after several incidents took place at the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company — which led to the death of one employee and the injury of many others. A nonviolent demonstration took place in support of workers who were striking to secure an eight-hour workday. Minutes after the authorities speeches ended, a dynamite bomb was thrown by an unidentified individual, prompting police to disperse the crowd and respond with random gunfire. This altercation between Chicago police and labor protesters had a long-lasting impact on the American labor movement as generations have been inspired by the Haymarket tragedy, which is remembered in monuments, murals, and posters around the world.

May 11, 1894

Boycotting the Railway

The Pullman Strike

Rail traffic in the Midwest of the United States was severely impacted in June and July 1894 as a result of the widespread railroad strike and boycott known as the Pullman Strike. Early in 1893, the Pullman Palace Car Company, a manufacturer of railroad cars, lowered the already poor wages of its employees by roughly 25%. However, it did not implement matching reductions in rents and other expenses in Pullman, the company’s town where the majority of workers lived, and consequently, these families faced starvation. From months, these protests escalated and took place all over the Midwest and, at its peak, involved some 250,000 workers in 27 states who joined the strikes to quit work rather than handle Pullman cars.

June 28, 1894

The Reward of Perseverance

The birth of a national public holiday

In 1894, as a response to the Pullman strike, President Grover Cleveland decided to declare Labor Day a federal holiday, with the support and endorsement of Congress. The date chosen was the 5th of September, the very same day that the first Labor Day celebration took place back in 1882. This decision was taken as an opposition to place it in a date that was seen as more revolutionary, meaning the International Workers’ Day on May 1st, which was inspired by the events of the Haymarket Riot. As a result, the brand-new Labor Day date was thought to be the less radical alternative.


The Evolution of Work Rights and Labor Day Around the World

More than 160 countries celebrate Labor Day and have May 1st as a National Holiday, and in some cases, even the following Monday! This first Monday of September is a holiday in both the United States and Canada. Depending on the where in the world you celebrate it, it can be the first or second Monday in March, or May. In Australia and New Zealand, it’s also a National holiday but it falls on the fourth Monday of October! All these festivities share a common origin — commemorating the efforts to improve workers’ conditions across the globe.

United States

The Birthplace of Labor Day. Labor Day is a federal holiday celebrated throughout the United States on the first Monday of September. The day after Labor Day, many schools and universities begin their academic year, so it is typically seen as the end of the summer vacation season. The date commemorates the first parade and celebration, which happened on September 5th, 1882, and still evokes that blissful, joyful feeling. For families, it is quite common to organize and enjoy beautiful picnics outdoors, maybe even taking a last trip to the beach before the school season starts. Parades and protests on this day may also include issues concerning human rights, such as raising awareness about women’s rights, immigrant working conditions, and the deterioration of workers’ conditions.


The enactment of the Trade Union Act. Labour Day — also known as Fête du Travail in French — is a statutory public holiday in Canada, celebrated on the first Monday of September. Just like the festivity that takes place in its neighboring United States, the Canadian celebration takes place the same day every year. Its origin can be found in the protest rallies of the Victorian era and even in the Nine-Hour Movement’s parades. But it was during an era of rapid industrialization, that this holiday promoted working-class solidarity and attachment. Since the Second World War, less and less individuals have participated in Labor Day celebrations, but nowadays, many Canadians still use this holiday for family time and outdoor activities.


Strikes on Melbourne. Calendars ready? Labor Day is a public holiday in Australia, with dates varying between states and territories. On April 21, 1856, the labour movement marched for an eight-hour workday in Melbourne. The labor movement protested for an eight-hour day in Melbourne on April 21, 1856. That day, construction workers across the city stopped working and marched from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House in order to achieve their goal. As a result of their effective direct action protest, they were some of the first organized workers in the world to achieve an 8-hour day without losing pay. But keep in mind that Labor Day is held in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, and South Australia on the first Monday in October. In Victoria and Tasmania, it is the second Monday in March, but in Western Australia, it is the first Monday in March. In Queensland and the Northern Territory, it takes place on the first Monday in May, while on Christmas Island, it happens on the fourth Monday in March. Got it?


Bouquets of Lily of the Valley. Labour Day, or La Fête du Travail, falls on May 1st in France. It shares the day with a long-standing tradition, started around 1561 by King Charles IX, where people share and gift bouquets of Lily of the valley. It is said that someone gave the King this flower as a symbol of good luck and fortune. This gift moved him so much that he made the decision to present it to the ladies of the court annually on May 1. In the 20th century, American union workers gathered in Paris to commemorate the anniversary of the French Revolution. Socialists proclaimed May 1 to be an international day for workers’ rights in memory of those who had given their lives in defense of their rights. A red triangle, which stood for eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, and eight hours of leisure, served as their original emblem. Later, the dog rose flower took its place, and in 1907, the lily of the valley was introduced in recognition of Charles IX’s court. Eventually, in 1947, France declared it a national holiday.


Celebration of Labor Day and Spring. Since the Soviet Union, Labor Day has been an important and celebrated holiday. It started off illegally during the French Revolution and was officially recognized in 1917. However, as the Bolsheviks took control of the government in less than a year, Menshevik revolutionaries and anarchists once again boycotted the event. The celebration became extremely popular in the following years, and parades were held in all major cities. One of the most well-known parades is the one held in Moscow’s Red Square, where, until 1992, the vast majority of marches featured military forces and had a strong political meaning. Since then, May Day has been renamed “The Day of Spring and Labor”, and it has continued to be a significant holiday in contemporary Russia, with a national civil parade taking place on Red Square and similar events taking place in significant cities and regional capitals. Additionally, a curious event that takes places is monstrations, public performances parodying serious marches with satirical signs and posters that take the streets and fill them with laughter!


Fight and Progress. May 1st is also a federal holiday in Mexico, honoring the nation’s history with labor and the struggles of the working class, as well as the 1917 Constitution. For many years—especially in the late nineteenth century-, Mexican workers faced poor working conditions, lower wages than their American counterparts, lack of respect, and a difficulty to advance in their careers, no matter their abilities or accomplishments. This led to the Cananea Strike, which took place in Sonora’s mining town of Cananea in June 1906. Both the laborers who worked in their various businesses as well as a substantial amount of Mexican land, were under the control of the American businessmen who owned the Cananea Copper Company. Several fundamental demands were made by Mexican workers, including fair pay and respectful treatment from superiors. Sadly, none of them were satisfied prior to being made to return to work. Twenty-three people died as a result of the strike. The Mexican Constitution was adopted in 1917 and the Mexican Revolution took place shortly after. The first recognized Labor Day celebration happened in 1923.


Religion and Labor Day. The first Labor Day or Día del Trabajador was celebrated in Spain in 1889, but it didn’t become a public holiday until the Spanish Second Republic began in 1931. Later, the Franco regime outlawed it in 1937. The following year, the “Fiesta de la Exaltación del Trabajo”, or Labor Festival, was scheduled to be held on July 18, the anniversary of the Francoist military coup instead. The Catholic Church intervened nearly 20 years after Franco put an end to the commemoration. Pope Pius XII declared May 1st as Fiesta de San José Artesano, also known as San José Obrero - Saint Joseph the Worker — in 1955, and the holiday was brought back the following year. After Francisco Franco’s death in 1975 and the country’s transition to democracy, the very first large-scale rallies on 1 May began again in 1977. Labor Day was reinstated as a national holiday in 1978 and to this day, protest parade and marches are common in both major and minor cities.