I started out thinking this would be a technical article and I even have links to the posts and articles I was going to reference to prove it. The title was going to be something like “Clouds can be colorful,” which is a reference to the decade ColorMetrix has spent building solutions to store color information on the internet (or in the cloud to use today’s buzzword de jour). Here are my three techie links – if you’re into that kind of thing – and then I’ll get into the touchy, feely side of color.
The techie side of color in the cloud
- Brand Color Management Has a Bright Future
- Color Strategy, Automation and Cloud Computing
- Centralized Color Database Servers
The touchy, feely side of color
Hopefully, you skipped right over those three articles for which I almost wrote a fourth musketeer. Instead, today I want to write about the fact that designers pick colors for a lot of reasons and almost none of those reasons are based upon technology.
Instead, color is about evoking a feeling from you, the potential consumer of a product or service. Should you choose to think I make this stuff up as I go along, please take a look at this article I found on Twitter while taking a break from writing this post: Pinterest Rival Fancy Gets Fancier With “Match By Color” Visual Search.
In a nutshell, color makes us feel!
Sometimes those feelings are good and sometimes those feelings are bad. At other times, the feelings are neutral. In this political season, think how much time our candidates spend picking the color of their shirt or their tie. Think about the people of the opposite sex you meet and how their hair and clothing choices affect how you respond to them. I mean, we have blond jokes for a reason, right?
Respecting the designers choice
Color in the cloud matters because it allows us to provide verification that the color specified by the design process makes it to the finished product untainted. Most designers could care less if we hit the right L*a*b* values within the specified Delta E tolerance range. What the designers care about is walking up to the product on the store shelf and feeling the way they intended you and I to feel.
The fact that we do that with L*a*b* and Delta E is meaningless to them. Those are the tools of our trade. The correct color delivered on the store shelf is our product. Just as Twitter and Facebook provide a conduit for us to communicate, color in the cloud is a tool for delivering the right color to the store shelf.
Don’t mix up tools and technology with the deliverable
Those of us in the color verification game are typically buried so far down in the color supply chain that designers have no idea who we are or what we do. Trust me on this. I’ve spent the last three years getting to know the design community. But here’s the thing: they care about what we do. They just don’t want to know how we do it. Our deliverable to them is the right color every time, all the time. It’s as simple as that.