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Cut us a break on shade variance ! Is the shade lot that critical???
A person's recognition of an object's color is the result of a complex process involving the response of the brain to the interaction of light with the object. Numerical descriptions of these three components ( 1. light source, 2. object, 3. observer) are all that is required to calculate the description of any color with an objective set of numbers. Other factors certainly influence our perception of color, but without these three components there is no perception.
After reading the above definition, I have certainly given myself a headache. I apologize if I have created a similar situation in your head. Basically, I was trying to come up with an intelligent introduction for this brief discussion on color. Unfortunately, I have failed miserably. Once again, color is giving me a difficult time. Why is color so troubling for some of us?
I want you to pay special attention to the word "perception" which is listed in the above definition. Is my "perception" of color different than your perception of color? Do we all see color in the same light? Why does one person sitting in a testing lab 'perceive' that my lab dip is not acceptable???
With the exception of mixing colors for printing & dyeing, why are some of us (I hate to point fingers, but I am referring to "Retailers") so concerned with the "shade" of colors? Is it truly critical that the store in Norfolk, VA and the store in Freehold, NJ have the exact same color shade? Possibly, the shoppers in Virginia plan yearly meetings with similar shoppers in New Jersey so that they can join forces and compare shade lots. However, I find this thought to be highly unlikely. Heaven forbid if their samples do not match perfectly
Personally, when I look at a banana, I understand that the color is yellow.
Do I really need to study the lightness, chroma, hue, absorbed / scattered
or transmitted light, that effects the appearance of the banana? I
Should we start complaining to the supermarket if we buy a bunch of bananas and each banana is a different color? We simply understand that it is part of nature to have color variance with bananas. Why can't we train the apparel consumer to understand that color variance is also acceptable in clothing? (I am talking about "minor" variance)
When I shop for clothing, should I be concerned that the store in the next town has a slightly different shade of navy T-shirts? For that matter, should I be upset if I see two different shades on the same rack in the same store? Actually, I should be thrilled. As a consumer, I should be happy that my favorite retailer has provided an assortment of navy shirts for me to choose from. The large retailers (the ones that generally object to minor variance in the first place) will have more then one shirt in my size. Therefore, color variance actually increases the assortment for the purchaser. In addition to increased assortment, color variance should not be considered a negative because after I wash the shirt a few times, the color will change anyway (unless you purchase T-shirts from the Apparel Search Production department; our colors do not run or fade...).
You are probably starting to ask yourself, "what is the point of this article?" Well, since you have asked, I will tell you. The moral of this story is "Retailers should not worry so much about slight variation in shade bands." I would like to ask the following questions to the clothing retailers of the world:
Fashion, color, design, should be cherished not tested, evaluated and
evaluated again. We are not splitting cells or reproducing organs.
We are simply garmentos. Lets remember who we are and what we do.
Working together for the good of the industry would be beneficial to all.
Save money for retailers and manufacturers alike. Ban the light box
Be forgiving with slight color variance
Remember, "Navy" and "slightly darker navy" is still navy
Don't be so picky
If we have offended manufacturers, we are glad. If we offended
retailers, we are one slight shade more glad. Can you measure the variance
between "glad" and "slight shade more glad"? I can't
get the point.
Written by Apparel Search 10/27/00
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