Thursday, March 13, 2008

Color Me Impressed!

[Stuff We Get] Today we received a nice PR package for a Pittsburgh outfit known as Porter Paints.

It came in one of those LittleEarth photo albums made from recycled license plates, and contains materials promoting Porter's "personal home paint color selection system" called "The Voice of Color."

Normally, things called "personal [fill in the blank] systems" make my eyes roll back into my skull with great force, but when I realized what they were actually up to, I decided I
love it. Basically, they take combinations of five colors and establish an ethos for each one.

Now, for all I know, these combinations could be generated randomly. What do I know from modern decorating tastes?

I would never have dreamed, for instance, that
mint blue goes with dark brown before Martha Stewart declared that it is so.

So if someone were to tell me, for instance, that an acid green goes with slate-y gray if you mix it up with a little pink, red and white, I'd be saying, "Oh, go
on witcha." But, when confronted with the argument that those colors, in a precise 60-30-10 ratio, represent a "strong belief in the capacity of the human mind to create change," well, who could argue with that?

Suddenly, the combination, which The Voice of Color calls "Ecoloco," makes sense to me. Something about the adjectives "audacious," "humorous" and "exuberant at heart" make me realize that Auntie Mame would have had her apartment done in
precisely this color scheme after her Yul Ulu phase, but before her Maharajah kick. And, once I get my hands on some black, melty-looking surrealist sculpture, I could easily live with it for awhile.

The Voice of Color speaks with a near-supernatural authority and establishes an ethos--not merely a justification, but
authenticity and virtuousness--for the combinations it favors. And, suddenly, there are a whole lot of new ways to combine color. Very cool.

Jerre Wroble and I had fun calculating our own color personalities--it's kind of like Myers-Briggs, but for paint--by answering a series of questions online. And we feel that our combinations are, really, the very best two in the bunch.

Turns out Jerre's "Desert Spice." I'm "Al Fresco."

Hey, with names like those, we could put together a Flamenco act!

(Brandon Burt)

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