by Rose McClement
It has really been a good while since I wrote a blog post. Marica is such a rock star in this regard. At the start of the new business year, the pace is generally much slower. In fact, it is so bizarrely opposite to those fast and furious months of November and December. With a bit of time on hand, I get to put into practice another one of my passions – writing.
I was reading the YOU Magazine the other day (yes you heard right – the YOU). Every now and then I buy one. I have to read something before switching off the light each night and it is the lightest reading matter for dozy brains. True Confession! There was a light-hearted article called “You Do What for a Living?” in which they featured some seriously whacky jobs, such as Pet Food Taster, Full Time TV Series & Movie Watcher, Odour Judge. But the one that caught my attention was having a job of “Paint Namer”. Yes – someone has the job of naming hundreds and hundreds of paint colours that make up that enormous Colour Fan Chart we sport in our office.
It caught my attention because, for more years than I can remember, I have always proclaimed with total amazement “who on earth puts names to these paint colours?”. Where do they get all these names from? Do they suck it up, make it up or what? But wait, it is not only paint colours. There is someone out there for each fabric house that exists that makes up the names of each fabric design and colour. It is often to the point where the name and the colour somehow seem disconnected… and that boggles my mind.
What’s more, the article speaks about these about two “Paint Namers” from Pittsburgh in the USA, who have been at it for 20 years (serious business!) and this is what they had to say about their job:
“Every colour has an emotional association and it’s their job to help connect people to these shades with words. Like naming a colour ‘mocha’ instead of ‘brown’. Or ‘sky’ instead of ‘blue’.” Apparently, words like “mocha” and “sky” evoke an emotional response to the colour increasing its emotional connection. That is meant to be the strong selling point.
So, having read these remarks by the professional “Paint Namers” I decide to put it to the test. I whip out our huge and always confusing Plascon Colour Pack (as you could well imagine, in ye ole design office it’s not just any ordinary paint chart), flip through some of the colours and names with a far more concentrated effort than usual, to see if I make that emotional connection.
I look at “Grandma’s Pearl” – a shade of a soft pink. No, my gran’s pearls were white or pearl in colour. No connection.
“Child’s Smile” – a stronger tone of coral. No connection to a child’s smile for me.
“Camel’s Hump” – nope never seen a camel, so no connection. I would have named it “Donkey’s Body” rather.
Despite the fact that I had little emotional connection to a few of the colours I will probably not be able to select paint colours as I did before the reading of this article. There is now a new awareness around paint names and I might well be able to run with it when trying to do one of the most tedious and challenging project tasks, which is selecting paint colours.
In closing, I do tip my hat to these “Paint Namers”. I for one would not like to do this job. My intellectual and emotional brain would be fried at the end of each working day. It still boggles my mind as to how they come up with some of these names without any repetition.
When you next have to paint the house or piece of furniture, will you make that emotional connection with the paint name, enough to be moved to buy it? I wonder?