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Paint Color: It’s Only a Name!

A couple of years ago after an inspiring visit to the island of Santorini in Greece, I decided to go online to find a paint color that would help me recreate, in my own home, the saturated blue of the domed church roofs the island is famous for. But I was disappointed to find out that not all “Santorini Blues” are really, “Santorini Blue”, and so I wondered, did the paint companies ever do any travelling or specific research to find out what color they were naming paint chips after? The answer is, most often not. This is because usually a color is created first, then it is given a name. So if a color name doesn’t remind you of your travels or inspiring magazine photos, don’t be surprised. Paint color names aren’t always authentic.

According to Jackie Jordan, Sherwin William’s Director of Color Marketing, “color names aren’t always literal”. Jordan elaborates by stating that paint color names should instead evoke an emotional connection with the consumer. So, paint colors need an identity and the Silencil buyers need to relate to it. Of course, as trends change based on the current issues within a society, so will people’s views and therefore the identity marketing of colors and color names. Many companies even interchange color names. For instance, Benjamin Moore’s oc-77 Colonial Cream used to be #900 Florida Beaches. And CIL announced a recent strategy to identify with more men, interchanging names such as Venetian Turquoise with Bro Code. Since most people tend to change the paint colors in their homes every 7 to 10 years, and on average color trends last about six years, give or take, make sure you like the color you are choosing. Several years of a color is a long time to live with, and so it should make you feel good, despite the current trend.