On the Surface

COLOR YOU CLUED-IN

September 29, 2017
       

Do you have “perfect hue,” as in “perfect pitch” in music?  Probably not, says color expert Mark D. Fairchild of the Munsell Color Science Lab, Rochester Institute of Technology.  Which is why it’s nearly impossible to carry colors in your mind when you’re painting a room, say, or matching items of clothing.

The problem is that “color is almost always judged relative to other colors,” Dr. Fairchild explained in a New York Times interview. When colors are compared side by side “then we can easily distinguish several thousand colors…some estimate more than a million.”

Color of the Year? Only the newsmakers really care, or so it seems. Paint behemoth Benjamin Moore is about to introduce its Color of the Year 2018 (sorry, no leaks before press-time), and the word in design circles is that it, too, will be dark like “Shadow,” the deep purple Color of this Year 2017. Benjamin Moore called it “allusive and enigmatic,” a reflection, perhaps of the current political scene?

Makes for good copy, but the truth told by company spokesperson Amy Figueroa to designers at NY NOW in late August: Ben Moore’s all-time bestseller is still
“Chantilly White.”

Brush up your color smarts at https://www.si.edu/exhibitions/color-in-a-new-light-6033. The Smithsonian Institution’s acclaimed “Color in a New Light” exhibit closed earlier this year, but this remedial on-line tour lets you scarf up all its, ahem, illuminating information on how light and color influence each other.