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?
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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5662 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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147930 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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  38836 Hits
38836 Hits
FEB
03

Shattering a Colorblind View of the Past

Dinosaur and Archer

For nearly two centuries, scholars have been arguing that beige and white were not the true colors of antiquity. The Parthenon in Athens and the Forum in Rome might have been almost gaudy. Unfortunately, such ideas have never influenced Hollywood or many experts. For example, in "Gladiator," when Russell Crowe strides down the streets of ancient Rome, circa A.D. 180, he's backed up by the proper complement of white marble. In almost every view of the past, textbooks included, the ancient world comes off as monochrome.

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  39539 Hits
39539 Hits
AUG
04

Wet Dog

Wet Dog

wet dogs

When I was in art school, a professor commented that my painting looked like a soggy dog. That was a compliment! I was struggling to find my artistic center and had poured turpentine on an oil painting (still wet and workable) and saved the results.

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  20274 Hits
20274 Hits
JUL
17

Changing the Colors of GM's Logo

GM Logo

It was rumored that GM may consider changing the color of its logo from blue to green when it emerged from bankruptcy. Apparently, that’s not going to happen.

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  103259 Hits
103259 Hits
JUL
10

Hues that cry for freedom

Hues that cry for freedom

colors of revolution 

Green is the color that is still at the forefront of demonstrations in Iran and across the world in protest of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial victory in June's presidential elections.

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  35435 Hits
35435 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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  20648 Hits
20648 Hits
MAR
30

The Evolution of Color Symbolism

yellow-3-blog

Our responses to color are inherited and learned. My experiences in Pakistan reconfirmed the reality of both universal color symbolism (timeless) and all the other kinds of meanings that evolve over time (religious, geographic, political, gender-based, etc.)

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  27010 Hits
27010 Hits
JAN
09

Color in Pakistan

Color: Bringing the World Closer Together
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

haw pak map-72 

During the past decade on the Internet, I’ve realized that color is an experience that we all share regardless of politics, religion, geography, age, or gender. Over 6 billion people are on the planet – and we are all immersed in a color soaked world.

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  80646 Hits
80646 Hits

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