We're only halfway through 2015, but the Color of the Year already has been named.
Materials maker Plastics Color Corp. has selected Cavernous Indulgence as its 2015 Color of the Year. PCC officials in a recent news release described Cavernous Indulgence as “a bold, deep color that is illustrated perfectly by scrumptious juicy grapes.”
Now I know it's tempting to make fun of the names that color designers use for their creations — and also to make fun of the whole color selection process — but color remains a huge part of the design world. Calumet City, Ill.-based PCC is working to provide customers with as much color trend data as possible. In the release, PCC marketing manager Sarah Skidmore said that color “is critical to Plastics Color's customers from both a branding and business perspective.”
Materials firms Clariant International of Switzerland and PolyOne Corp. of Avon Lake, Ohio, in January unveiled their color programs for 2016. Clariant's offerings included such color families as Liquid Minds and Work It Girl. At PolyOne, Brain Reign and Divergent Desires were among those introduced.
Again, these can sound like the stuff of comedians' monologues, but they have a huge impact on what we all see on the shelves of Target or Walgreen's or wherever it is we spend the hard-earned money we make in the plastics industry.
When writing about color selection, I always think back to that great scene in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, where fashion editor Miranda Priestly (played by the legendary Meryl Streep) explains how color works to her assistant Andy Sachs (played by Anne Hathaway) :
MIRANDA: Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select... I don't know... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back.
But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns…And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers.
And then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.
Maybe that scene doesn't play itself out every year in the offices of PCC, Clariant or PolyOne — or maybe it does…if so, Plastics News would love to see that on video — but it helps to explain the impact of color and why it's taken so seriously.
Needless to say, color selection has come a long way from the early 20th century, when automotive titan Henry Ford was revolutionizing the world of transportation with his Model T.
“People can have the Model T in any color,” Ford said. “So long as it's black.”