The palettes of brand — the soul of color
What could be the nature of the story — how do they align?
Surely there are emotional states to color, but the idea of coloration in relationship to brand, and to the transitioning of experiences is an interesting trending slide — the doors and portals of perception and exposure work that angle of light bound incidence and how we “see” and define color. The conception of perception lies there: human organization and sight response.
There are some key issues in organizing how brand might relate to color — the soul of brand and the interpretation of relevance and resonance. One approach to defining and organizing that system suggests that:
“colour is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, green, blue and others. Color derives from the spectrum of light (distribution of light energy versus wavelength) interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors. Color categories and physical specifications of color are also associated with objects, materials, light sources, etc., based on their physical properties such as light absorption, reflection, or emission spectra. By defining a color space, colors can be identified numerically by their coordinates.
Because perception of color stems from the varying sensitivity of different types of cone cells in the retina to different parts of the spectrum, colors may be defined and quantified by the degree to which they stimulate these cells. These physical or physiological quantifications of color, however, do not fully explain the psychophysical perception of color appearance.
The science of color is sometimes called chromatics. It includes the perception of color by the human eye and brain, the origin of color in materials, color theory in art, and the physics of electromagnetic radiation in the visible range (that is, what we commonly refer to simply as light).
One of the keys to the balance of perception of color lies in the psychic condition — and defining and organizing brand, color, emotionality and positioning in the perception of light lies in the character of the human seeing it.
Ever had a conversation like this?
“I think this room is too dark, it’s almost black.
Really? I think this is warm, a deep brown, but it’s surely not black.
I don’t like it, it’s too dark, and it’s feeling like a black hole.
To me it’s like a deep chocolate, it’s a dark warm black, I could sip coffee in here and dream of Vienna.
Well you can do that by yourself, I’m out of here — this is creepy.”
Benjamin Moore 2011 Color of the Year: Vintage Wine
Benjamin Moore’s color designers are forecasting vintage wine as Envision Color 2011’s Color of the Year.
First seen on the fashion runways of New York, Paris, and Milan, this rich hue with a deep brown base and a hint of smoky violet is just as magnificent in the home.
As an undertone in many of the latest wood finishes, leathers, and other textiles, vintage wine, and its lighter variations, will make a great paint color pick for many applications over the coming years.
Visit the Benjamin Moore website
More on Color of the Year: Vintage Wine:
That conversation could wrap around an interpretation of place-made and experiencer response like this: Ok, that’s an interpretation that will be defined in vocabulary — so that the speak of the brand, the soul of the poetic evocation of brand, or human positioning for the audience, would like in one’s ability to actually link content, ideas and judgments together. And that gesture will swing wildly.
Speaking with friends that are colorists — or color strategists, there strings of content that loosely relate to global trends and analyses, and how these filter into “the trends of the year.” Actually, I might proffer that it seems a little like the secret Cardinal enclaves, the Papal selection process of the Vatican — what color is the smoke of the burned offering to “who’s the one?”
Speaking in Sarasota, at the international design symposium, I’d connected with color strategist Laura Guido Clark, who informs thinking on product design with revolutionary thinking about color — bold juxtapositioning, splash onwards, always inventive. And seamlessly collaborative. More here, to her thinking. And Girvin’s notations. But the idea of commenting on trend – what is the patterning of the past sequencing of colors, and what’s new might be something that speaks both to the “marketing” and storytelling of new colors, as well as their index of examination. Leatrice Eiseman, who’s our neighbor in Seattle, (and a collaborator in 2011 — we’re hoping,) offers these insights: “According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and the head of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, buyers may want to look to the past, present and future to get a sense of coming color trends. “The big picture theme is a Mosaic of Color and Style,” she says. “This reflects cultural, universal time frames and seemingly disconnected elements. Though new technologies continue to reinvent the future, we may notice some things have a vaguely nostalgic feeling.”
Her expansions are compelling, since she frames the analysis of color space with the trending of circumstance and the psychic conditioning of the global audiences, note her essay summaries to the colors that Pantone notes in the strip above:
“Since people are thinking about the economy, that’s telling us some of the styling of the past isn’t discarded, but instead brought back in a new way. What’s important today is to think in terms of practicality. People are going to ask themselves, gee, I already have six pairs of black shoes, so why do I need another pair? Retailers are going to want to give them something new, and this is where color plays an important role. For example, maybe a consumer is drawn to a purple car, but when they get to the show room they decide to go with the black version. But you need to have that purple car to get their attention.”
“One theme under the larger Mosaic idea is called Molecular. It embraces a lot of darker shades, which are typical for the season, but it includes a purpled wine, a very deep green and, of course, a navy black and a coffee brown. Brown will stay very, very important. But the introduction of yellow, orchid, a purplish blue and jade green will be accents. In footwear, those could show up as gemstones, ribbon trim or any embellishment with unexpected color.
“There’s an element of glitter attached to the Byzantine theme. A lot of the illustrations to convey this are stained glass church windows, but these colors can be as modern as a Mondrian and very abstract, playing into the Mosaic idea. This theme includes metallics, shimmery gold, rich reds, vibrant blues and purples. There will be a wine color, but it’s a truer wine color. What this palette conveys is modernized nostalgia, in that it’s not duplicating a previous time period, but applying modern technology to it. In terms of shoes, we might be thinking about a platform sole and heel made with a new plastic or reconstructed wood, materials that speak of a new technology being used in a new way.
“Deconstructing-Reconstructing also follows the theme of revisiting the past, but it focuses more on neutrals, grey, gunmetal and cream. Ochre, brown and black are accented with topiary greens and lipstick red. You could describe this as old school. There has been a movement toward looking to The Gap and Ralph Lauren, but this is still a reinvented look. It’s buffalo plaids and Americana, but not as it was in the 80s. It’s a bolder way of combining plaids and checks.
“Multiple Indentity is inspired by human coloring. The blues, irises and browns we see in eye color and the pink browns and roses we see in skin tone. It’s the mosaic of human coloring, and it makes for an unpredictable but interesting palette. It also has broad appeal. The consumer can find something he or she relates to. Someone with dark skin may look at a pair of brown shoes and say, hmm, if I wear those it will look as if I’m not wearing shoes at all, lengthening the leg. There’s lots of potential in this palette.”
What I’m curious about in the ancient nature of the word color, with thousands of years back spoke to “skin or covering” — the same root as the foundation of “cell” — color, in these interpretations is about hiding and concealment, is might be that which is seen, or that which is hidden. Seeing, sensing, perception — these intertwine in the idea that color and the spirit of comprehension and attention are aligned — people “pay attention” or homage to things that they resonate with — or fail to. So while there might be something about Wal-Mart’s attitude of superior light power in showing off the details in brilliance of their store interiors, you might think that contrasting stories can be found in other brands, their sense of color soul, and how people relate to them — there are deeper metaphors for the psychic response to colors. As Eiseman notes, it could be the concrete of reality, but really, it’s a matter of survival and more primal conditions of response, repelling and sustenance. That nourishment will feed the soul of recollection and relationship.
Brands live there, or perish.
Tim | Miami Beach
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