The Following is Brought to You by the Color…Black
That headline sounds like something out of Sesame Street, doesn’t it?
Actually, the following is brought to you by Bruce Knott, the director of WFCP/Media Relations at Grace McNamara, Inc.
Snow Angels buy I used to present sales and marketing programs as part of the full day new product presentations Bruce delivered around the country for Springs Window Fashions.
I never met — nor probably never will meet — someone so knowledgeable about color.
Each of Bruce’s monthly columns in Window Fashions Magazine focuses on a different color.
Here’s his latest article, from the May issue:
Black is on a power trip. It’s all about black. Black is authoritative and powerful. It carries weight – it is perceived as the “heaviest” of all colors. Like white, black makes other colors stand out and be noticed.
Black is formal and elegant. Coco Chanel took that “little black dress” and turned it into a fashion statement, making it haute couture – it could be worn for day or for evening; all depending on how one accessorized it. It’s still considered a classic.
Black tie, black patent leather shoes, and arriving at the function in a shiny black limousine also support the elegance and formality of black. Black and gold as a combination is the ultimate expression of luxury and sophistication.
Throughout the history of Western Civilization, the wearing of black clothing has symbolized a denial of the sensual life. It was the color worn by priests, monks, and mourners. In 15th century France, when the beloved wife of King Louis XII died, he declared that the court would dress in black, perhaps giving it the status as the “official” color for mourning.
In 16th century Spain, black gained elegance as clothing. Black was favored by the king and queen of Spain, and as the court imitated the royal couple, black became fashionable and sophisticated. Maybe the royals knew that black makes most people look slimmer.
Black is also associated with the dark side – with evil, malevolence, and violence. The bad guys in the movies always wore black. Blackguard, black sheep, black market, blackmail, and blackball are some of the common expressions using black in a negative way. Think about Darth Vader.
In nature, the combination of black and yellow is a warning sign. We learn from an early age to be careful when black and yellow insects are buzzing around us.
Does black have a scent, or a taste? For some people, it might be licorice; for others, black leather. Black pepper is used in almost every recipe, and black tea accounts for most of the tea consumed in western society.
Black has always had an important place in design and decorating. Too much black can be overwhelming, and, with improper lighting, can even be hazardous, as we might miss seeing that slight step up or down as floor levels change from room to room, or getting in or out of a booth in a restaurant.
The combination of black and white has made a comeback in the last year in fabrics, taking a retro color mix and giving it a fresh update. Both black and white reside on the Classic Color Card for Color Marketing Group, indicating their importance to many industries.
Many of us in the design world believe that every room should have something black in it somewhere, because it helps “settle” other colors. I’m one of them.
That “something black” can be as simple as trim on decorative pillows, a favorite black vase, or black matting on a framed picture. It makes a statement. In our home, that “something black” is a little black toy poodle named Bentley that we recently adopted. He’s definitely into a power trip. Just ask the cat. Color in motion.