We’re glad to have John Nate on the Colorsource Blog. John touches on how color can be as much an emotional experience as one defined by numbers. As such, you can never truly solve all color problems. That is what makes color so intriguing.
If you have a color experience that you want to share we would also love to hear from you, just send your content to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be posting the entries on our blog and on Twitter #whywelovecolor as they come in so stay tuned!
A while ago I visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. For me, one of the most moving exhibits at the museum was a piece of artwork titled “Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning”. The piece is constructed uses thousands of blue painted square tiles, one for each person killed on that day. Likely, no two tiles are the same color, although each represents the color of the sky on that terrible day. Why? Because
“color is as much an emotional experience as it is something that can be defined by numerical values, it is something that can never really be perfectly conquered.”
In our daily lives we use color to describe emotions. “He is seeing red”. “She is green with envy”. “He is feeling blue”. Even someone’s health can be described by a single color: green around the gills”.
Walk into your local paint store and you will see a myriad of color options. These do not carry names like “sorta light red” or “darker gray than the one over there” but instead “Polynesian Sunset” or Espresso Dreams”. Why the somewhat silly names? Because they are not only selling a color but an emotion.
Because color is as much an emotional experience as it is something that can be defined by numerical values, it is something that can never really be perfectly conquered. In a way, for any of us involved in the world of color accuracy, it is our game of golf. We strive for perfection even though we know it is truly impossible to attain. Even so, squeezing that last miniscule, imperceptible amount of Delta-E out of a system is seen as a personal and professional victory.
It is a game that we can never really beat, but simply improve our own results. And just when we do, the emotion of a customer “colors” the results by stating that it just doesn’t look right. Unfortunately (of fortunately) our current tool set does not include a mathematical formula to account for emotion or taste.
This challenge of trying to attain perfection, of constant improvement in the results we are striving for, and the joy of wringing that last .01 Delta-E out of a printout is why I love color.
Thanks to John Nate for contributing his color story. John is an expert in color management and RIP technology. A former FineEye employee now with EFI. At EFI John is the US Technical Sales Manager for Fiery Wide Format Solutions. You can reach John at email@example.com.