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Why Color’s Not a Cure-All

A friend pulls me aside at a cocktail party and whispers secretly, “I’m painting my kitchen, do you have any color recommendations?” He’s got a pen out, ready to jot down any paint numbers I might be able to list off the top of my head. It happens all the time. Not even my own flesh and blood can resist. Mysister phones me from New York. “The painter is here,” she says. “Doyou have any color suggestions for my house?” I quickly ask her toclarify: “Is he there for a consultation and estimate?” To which sheproudly replies, “Nope, he is ready to paint!”

A friend pulls me aside at a cocktail party and whispers secretly, “I’m painting my kitchen, do you have any color recommendations?” He’s got a pen out, ready to jot down any paint numbers I might be able to list off the top of my head.

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It happens all the time. Not even my own flesh and blood can resist. Mysister phones me from New York. “The painter is here,” she says. “Doyou have any color suggestions for my house?” I quickly ask her toclarify: “Is he there for a consultation and estimate?” To which sheproudly replies, “Nope, he is ready to paint!”

color

I am a walking Color Physician, writing color prescriptions on the fly. Or I’m a Color Therapist, asked to resolve the “she said yellow, but he hates yellow” story with a color that blissfully unites them in color harmony.

As a professional color consultant, I am often asked to make color a band-aid, and in extreme conditions, perform color triage. I am often brought into the final phases of the design process and asked to revive patients through color recommendations. And yes, I can give sage consultation all the while knowing how much more profound the outcome had I been part of the diagnosis, the treatment, and the remedy.

Color is skin-deep. It is a reflection of what lies beneath and within an object. I believe it is an arsenal, a medicine bag of sorts. As the color doctor, I must kindly remind my clientele that anything considered an afterthought runs the risk of appearing that way. My goal is to educate that a holistic approach has deeper, more powerful and long-lasting meaning.

For now, I am content that progress is being made. My sister now calls me a few days before the painter arrives.

Read more of Laura Guido-Clark’s Dreaming in Technicolor blog
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Laura Guido-Clark is an expert in theskin of consumer products–their color, materials, and finish. This isperhaps the area of industrial and textile design that requires thegreatest understanding of the human heart. Laura has spent her lifestudying the always new and always surprising ways that human beingsreact to the look and feel of any given product.

Laura is the rare color and finishconsultant whose expertise includes not just textiles but heavymanufacturing industries such as automotive, electronics, and majorhousehold appliances. This experience has given her vast knowledge ofthe raw materials and processes used in product categories across theboard. Throughout her twenty-plus year career, Laura has analyzed theconscious and unconscious influences that drive buying decisions. Herability to translate those influences into prescient forecasting and,ultimately, into concrete applications of color and finish has helpedcompanies such as Samsung, Apple, Mattel, and Toyota design productsthat resonate with consumers and succeed in competitive markets.

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