Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What color will American Airlines Paint its 787s

Since an airplane’s skin (the covering of the fuselage, wings, etc.) is aluminum, it’s usually polished and unpainted. However, the Boeing 787 is a new-design airplane will have a composite skin, one that doesn't take too well to shiny polishing. So what color will American paint the airplanes?

Would you guess blue? ( … and especially if you read the December 1 blog about car colors ...)

Guess again. The CFO said that American is considering painting them burnt orange. (Did he mean International Safety Orange?)


Monday, December 08, 2008

More holiday shoppers are buying gifts based on color - USA Today

Color Matters! The author of this blog was just quoted in USA Today (December 8, 2008) in the article "More holiday shoppers are buying gifts based on color."

From the article:
In the most economically depressing holiday season in decades, there’s one buzzword — besides cheap — that’s still got game at retail: color.

While in a bleak economy, some companies and consumers are more somber in their choices — but a lot go the other way and embrace color. “People form a personal connection to a product in a color they like,” says Jill Morton, head color consultant at Colorcom. This can be particularly critical, she says, “in times of doom and gloom.”

Source - USA Today - "Gifts in Color"

More information about Colorcom's database about consumer color preferences - The Global Color Survey

Monday, December 01, 2008

Blue is the car color of tomorrow

It’s blue again! It’s the favorite color of people all around the globe and even though we may adore it and wear it, how many people want a "true blue" car?

Automotive paint supplier PPG Industries Inc. issued its annual forecast and predicts that blues (particularly more vibrant, richer, complex blues) will take on a more important role in car styling.

Cars will also see a wider variety of colors - and more complex ones - thanks to advances in paint technology. Since customizable color are now an option with cell phones, kitchen appliances and even washing machines, it’s time for cars to follow suit.

It all depends on the car. I’ll admit to owning an “electric blue” Mini Cooper for three years. It was one of those seductively beautiful colors that people would comment on. Surfers, senior citizens, and Japanese tourists in parking lots, and "thumbs up" from other drivers. Bright blues are ideal for compacts and cute little cars. As for other cars (such as luxury models), not an ocean blue ... perhaps a a deep, dark blue accented by sparkling glass flakes (the color PPG calls "Lights Out") would work.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

A New Way to Understand a Billion

How many leaves change color in New Hampshire? 608 billion!
The U.S. Forest Service says that there are 666 million colorful trees in the state's forest land. Assuming the average tree has 800 leaves, each weighing a tenth of an ounce, that’s 608 billion leaves.

Other ways to define a billion:

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

700 billion dollars is the cost of the U.S. financial bailout plan. A bit more than the number of color-changing leaves in New Hampsire.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Leaves Gone Wild

In spite of how grey the global economic situation may be, the colors of autumn leaves are dazzling the eyes of many people around the world. Aside from the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis, these bursts of colors are the most magnificent displays of nature. For those of us who suffer in regions where the seasons don’t change - and for those who delight in this phenomenon regardless of where they live - here are three of my favorite Web Cams of autumn landscapes in the U.S:

Niagara Falls

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests – Georgia

University of Virgina - time lapse movie of the trees at the Rotunda

(Please use the comments link below this post if you have any other URLs to share … especially those outside the U.S.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sleep Aid

If you’re having trouble sleeping, think in color. Just pick a color, any color. Then start visualizing things in that color. For example, if you choose yellow, start with things you’re familiar with such as yellow flowers, lemons, and rubber duckies. What's inside your refrigeration, your closet, or outside your window? Just let the images float by and don’t think about it too much. Some say it's easier than counting sheep.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Amazing Color Palette Generators

If you've ever wanted to a second set of eyes to help with color schemes, Color Hunter ( is a color palette generator that uses photos to create a palette. You can upload an image of your own and get a color palette generated based on the colors in the image. For example, if you have a photograph of a colorful plate, such as the one above – and let’s suppose you want to use the colors for a color scheme for a web page or even your kitchen - upload the photograph and get the color palette, complete with hex codes. You can also enter a search term in the box at the top of the page and much more.

The Color Palette Generator located on ( is a simple tool that also lets you use a photo from the web as the inspiration. It's a bit more basic than Color Hunter but that might be just what you need. All you have to do is enter in the photo's URL from any place on the web and the generator will create a color scheme based on the photo. (

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

iPod Nano Rocks the Color Wheel

Apple is indisputably the color guru in the world of electronic devices. They are always ahead of the curve in every sense of design. And that is why I pay attention to every nuance of color in their devices and advertising.

With that said, I am dazzled by the rainbow of colors of the new iPod nano. In fact, the image of the lineup of nanos at the Apple store follows the logical progression of colors on a typical color wheel - purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, red-purple (magenta). Wow!
Nano chromatic indeed.

Oh but wait a second … Apple rocks the color wheel in the new TV ads by breaking the expected progression when the orange iPod jumps to a red-purple (hot pink/magenta) which is followed by red.

And that is the point of this blog. I really wonder why there are two versions of the clusters of iPod nanos. Whatever the reason, I vote for the iPods that are out of sync. It’s subtle and it’s a nice jolt for those of us who live under the rules of color theory.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Better than Autumn Leaves?

Here’s an environmental delight for the eyes and maybe an itinerary for a colorful vacation:

The 25 Most Colorful Lakes on Earth

It includes photos and information about:
1. Turquoise and Blue Lakes
2. Green and Yellow Lakes
3. Purple and Red Lakes
4. Sunset Lakes

A special message from Color Matters:
Coming in mid September, a new eBook - “Color Matters for the Home"

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blinded by Red?

As the world watches the Olympics, it’s red that catches our eye. Not only is red making a permanent imprint on our brain as THE color (and presence) of China . . . but . . . now we can wonder if red may be contributing to higher scores. In other words, “Are the judges under the influence of red?”

On August 15, 2008, German scientists released a study that found that "Competitors dressed in red are awarded more points than competitors dressed in blue, even when their performance is identical." The research also found that red actually seems to intimidate players on opposite teams, instead of boosting the performance of athletes.

Many believe that several China's gymnasts are too young for the Olympics (and therefore illegal), but maybe the real competitive edge comes from the color red.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

When does a color create a “design abomination”?

Centro owners on AT&T had been forced to accept a garish lime green dial pad on the “Glacial White” smartphones. It really makes you wonder how something this ugly could have ever been designed as the default color. Personal preference is one thing, but a lime green (aka chartreuse) keypad is a design abomination. The good news is that AT&T launched a new color scheme and an electric blue Centro is now available.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Side of Chartreuse

If you add a little black to chartreuse, you’ll get “pea soup green.” And that is the color of the 1991 Dodge Stealth – which was designated as one of the “Ten Worst Production Car Color Combinations.” In fact, it’s a metallic "pea soup green" combined with purpley pink. For anyone who delights in bad colors, this page is worth a visit. See The Ten Worst Production Car Color Combinations

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Lure of Chartreuse

Chartreuse … it’s an awkward color with a beautiful French name. You either love it or hate it and that's why it’s worth taking a closer look at how you can tap the power of this color in the underwater world of marine life.

Each species of fish sees color a little differently. For example, walleyes have more green color receptors in their eyes than anything else. Therefore chartreuse is a great color for walleye fishing. Other fish (such as Northerns) have more red receptors than other fish species.

The right colored lure should also consider depth, water clarity, time of day, and cloud conditions. Chartreuse is a color that retains its hue in poor light conditions better than any others. Maybe that also explains the chartreuse-yellow used on emergency vehicles in the US even though the color receptors in the human eye are superior to fish.

Summer break - Gone fishing