Friday, December 26, 2014

Paint colors

How does one get a job naming paint colors? I would like to offer my services to this needy industry,

There are a lot of awful paint color names out there--names of things that few people should rationally want smeared on their walls. Food, for instance. Behr offers an extensive menu of sweet and savory puréed edibles, as well as a range of non-puréed but generally easily-digested solids: cranberry whip, pumpkin butter, sweet marzipan (vs. unsweet? do they know what marzipan is?), cilantro cream, hummus, creamy mushroom, rye bread, toasted wheat, tapioca, cherry cobbler, and seaweed salad.

From the Let's Imbibe! palette, Behr offers several alcohol colors that probably won't complement the meal: mojito, reisling grape, coco rum, so merlot (vs. for/and/nor/but/or/yet merlot), and royal liqueur. Alcohol accent colors include intoxication and cork.

In the Relics of Imperialism palette, Behr offers colors such as folklore, ethiopia, tibetan temple, tribal pottery, japanese kimono, congo, kenya, and amazon jungle.

Perhaps it was after a night of inhaling fumes in a room freshly painted with cranberry whip, hummus, and congo that Behr's color namers came up with lizard breath.

Over at Sherwin-Williams, the color names are more matter-of-fact (or the color namers are more depressed). People who don't already spend enough time staring at computer screens should consider web gray, online, and software. For those who see paint colors as expressions of personality, a limited range of hues are available, including notable hue, sensible hue, spicy hue, and nervy hue (roughly speaking, light blue, gray, yellow-green, and brick red, respectively).

To my delight, someone with a sense of humor has infiltrated the depressed Sherwin-Williams naming think-tank and has inserted, in the midst of the many many shades of gray, the color names dorian gray (which ages nicely in your living room but not in your attic), gray matters (for the cerebral citizen), gray area (for equivocators), amazing gray (how sweet the sound), rock bottom (for those who aren't feeling sufficiently depressed), spalding gray (for avant-garde autobiographers), and anonymous (which would probably go very nicely with stenciled wall flowers).

As a snarky, over-degreed artist who experiences only mild depression, I feel I would be a perfect fit for the Sherwin-Williams family of paint namers. Naturally, I find inspiration and joy in the vivid colors I encounter daily in the world around me. Thus, Sherwin-Williams (whose sky high, maison blanche, bittersweet stem, and pebble now freshly grace upstairs walls in my house), I gift you with damp freeway, gravel shoulder, white stripe, yellow dash, and dried weeds.

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