When Color is Earth Shattering

An old thread on one of my paint forum haunts was recently resurrected. It’s three years old. Not unusual. Paint and Color World seems to have a slower pace. Topics and issues of 2010 are still relevant in 2013. Buzzwords, however, change more quickly. In 2010, the buzzword du jour was “metamerism”. A term and concept adopted from color labs into designer-speak where it proceeded to get hacked, misused, and abused. I did it too. Because it was the latest buzzword on everyone’s lips. Didn’t matter if you knew what it meant because odds are the people with whom you were speaking while using the term didn’t know what it meant either. No harm, no foul.

That happens in Paint and Color World a lot. People use words and exploit concepts for which they have no real understanding. One of my esteemed color budz who is infinitely wiser and smarter than I am kindly “coached me up” on how I was misusing metamerism. He suggested I look into color constancy/inconstancy instead. He was right. Color me duly coached. Realized the fancy word didn’t make me sound more color expert-y at all. Just sounded dumb.

I’m not really going anywhere with this story. Other than my post yesterday could have rocked a few sub-worlds within Paint and Color World. There was a little color wheel heresy and a couple underused color terms thrown out there. Maybe the most earth shattering is that while a flair for color can be handy, perhaps individual opinions about color are not as weighty and important as some would like them to be. So, this is the suggestion I’d like to make. Although we cannot color by numbers alone, color order systems give us a unified language from which to speak to color despite variances in color acuity, perceptions, experiences, and “flairs for color”.

And how fun would it be if I were the one to launch a new color-catch-phrase or buzzword. Or even better, assist in giving the poor beleaguered traditional color wheel some time off since it never really quite fit in Paint and Color World any way. But that’s just crazy talk.  Maybe someday when I grow up I can be a real thought-leader in Paint and Color World.

Until then, I’m watching YouTube videos. Not a total waste of my time. Right? In my defense, this one does relate to my point about the value of color systems and unified color language — well, I was able to make the correlation. Nothing saying you will too but you should watch it any way.

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