Color Matters Blog

Color is always doing something. Sometimes color screams out a message, sometimes it casts a subliminal spell. So, what's happening in the world of color today? Yesterday? Tomorrow? What are the facts, what are the myths?
OCT
18

Test your color imagination

Have some fun and test your imagination.

Assume that each of these two colors will be “The Color of the Year”. The challenge is to reinvent the color by giving it an evocative new name. You might even consider giving it a name that embodies a sense of calm.

#1 A light pink

pink paint

The first color is a very light pink. Delicate and sheer. It’s floral like the palest pink roses; it’s sweet like the frosting on cupcakes, comforting like a stuffed bunny from childhood, and as feminine as ballet shoes.

4 pink things

If you had to reinvent this pink with a name that would get rid of all these associations – and have mass appeal – what would you name it?

Consider this: Some paint brands have named this tender hue “Pink Ground” or “Calamine” (Farrow & Ball), an almost identical color “Almost Pink” (Glidden), “Paris Pink (Portola Paints), “Pink Bliss” (Benjamin Moore), “Pink Elephant" (Behr), and coincidentally “Elephant Pink” (Benjamin Moore).

Pause for a moment. Use your imagination! It’s your turn to name it.


 Conclusion: Benjamin Moore has named this light pink “First light” - and it's "The Color of the Year 2020".

Pink First Light

If ever there were a way for pink to shed its sweet, floral, and child-like associations, this does it. On the other hand, what is the color of first light? If you google it you’ll find images like the one below: In any event, it’s all in the name and this one is genius.

Here’s how it looks in the context of nature:

First light in nature


 #2 - A subtle green

green paint

This is a tricky one. It’s a very subdued light green. Sage? Or perhaps the color of a cooked artichoke or a murky swamp? It’s definitely earthy.

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1575 Hits
MAY
30

The Most Expensive Color in the World

Google "the most expensive color in the world" and you’ll get a lot of information about diamonds. For example, a blue diamond that sold for $32 million and that red diamonds are the rarest and most expensive.

Google "the most expensive pigment" and you’ll find that Lapis Lazuli is believed to be the most expensive pigment ever created. It was pricier than its weight in gold.

lapis lazuli
From the essay, "Blue," in Alexander Theroux's "The Primary Colors" -
Blue was always the most expensive pigment for painters, first of all, for supernatural beauty, perfection, and glory. The goldlike flecks of pyrite crystals in lapis lazuli have often been compared to stars in the sky.

Google “the most expensive paint in the world” and you’ll get a lot of information about paintings such as Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi that sold for $450 million. You might even see an ad for marine bottom paint that sells for over $1000 for a 3-gallon can.
YlnMn blue

There's also YinMn Blue - a brilliant blue that was accidentally discovered 10 years ago. Unfortunately it appears that many paint manufacturers – such as Shepherd –are interested in the pigment and will be bringing paints to market after commercialization.

And that brings us back to this question about colors that you can buy today:

The most expensive paint color?

Farrow and Ball paint

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7121 Hits
MAR
30

A Color that’s Worth $80,000,000

If you've ever wondered if color can make a multi-million dollar difference, check out this example of a special shade of blue.
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129209 Hits
MAR
16

Working with Color: Bailouts and Branding

Which color is the best for a product?

I love interviews with the press because there’s always one challenging question that requires a good answer. Last week, the interviewer asked, “How do you get your color consultation projects?” I replied that half the time, there’s a color disaster underway and someone contacts me. Typically, “the boss” has chosen his or her favorite color for the logo (or the product, packaging, etc.) and a member of the staff senses that there is something terribly wrong with the choice.

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25069 Hits
FEB
24

When is a color racially offensive?

Racial Insensitivity - Colors 

The recent controversy surrounding the aboriginal costumes worn by Russian ice dancers Domnina and Shabalin raises questions of cultural theft, authenticity of the steps, and appropriate costumes. Some Australian aboriginal leaders have claimed that the pair’s brown-toned costumes adorned with leaves and white aboriginal-style markings were offensive and far from authentic. On the other hand, the Russian duo’s coach explained that the term "aboriginal" translates from Latin language and means "from the beginning" and that they tried to represent a picture of the time when aboriginal people were in the world - with no reference to any country or custom. Nevertheless, in spite of changing the hue of their original costumes from a dark brown (intended to make their skins look darker) to a paler shade, which better matched the Russians' natural skin tone, the controversy still rages.

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148012 Hits
FEB
12

There’s More Than Love at the Heart of Red

red-fuchsia

"Monkey Butt Red" and "Flaming Fuchsia" made the news recently - at least in the automotive industry. These are the names of colors created by Toyota and Dodge for the debut of their elite sports cars. Consider the possibility that these colors and their names were intended to generate a lot of press.

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38929 Hits
MAY
26

A Close Encounter with Yellow

yellow-dress-bus

I usually don’t write about my personal experiences with color but a recent encounter with a startling yellow dress is worth the space on this blog. In fact, the dress was such a bright yellow that I felt like kids might try to ride me to school. Okay, it’s a cliche, but school bus yellow is a color that can really be too overwhelming for my fair coloring. Soft creamy banana yellow is okay, but not mango yellow.

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20709 Hits

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