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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Color-Emotion from Mohawk - Part I

As mentioned in Flooring Inspiration From Mohawk, I am very excited to share with you - courtesy of Vickie Gilstrap, Vice President, Residential Color and Design, for Mohawk and Karastan Woven Product Development - Mohawk's 2007 color presentation. [Note: This is the first of five posts.]

The American Consumer is made up of different genders, age groups, and cultural backgrounds.

I think we all agree that color selection is very important. You can make a statement with color; you'll get a reaction to color. But, color is a very personal choice because emotion comes into play. Different people are going to see, appreciate and accept color in different ways.

That sets the backdrop for the first board entitled "Color and Emotion."

RED: We know that red creates images of excitement, power and strength. Red causes the pulse to increase and blood pressure to rise. It's a medical fact that when one sees red, adrenaline is released into the bloodstream and prepares us to take sudden physical action. When we see red, our sense of smell improves, taste buds become sensitive, and appetite improves. Red would not be good if you're on a diet.... but, if you own a restaurant, touches of red could contribute to your success.

Studies have shown that people will gamble and spend more when under red lights. We are more willing to take chances when surrounded by red.

Red is the first of several colors that have become symbols of a movement:

+ The 'Red Initiative' was begun by U2 Frontman Bono and Bobby Shriver [Chairman of Data-Debt/AIDS/Trade/Africa]. They wanted to find a way to get big business excited about the fight against AIDS, so they conceived of the 'Red Initiative' as an opportunity for major brands to create new brands and services that inspire people who want to enjoy their life and do something positive for others.

+ American Express was the first [product] Red available. Since then, other iconic brands such as Gap, Armani, Motorola and Apple have embraced the concept launching stylish apparel, shoes, sunglasses, mobile phones, and iPods. Every product generates money that is contributed to the global fund to help fight AIDS in Africa.

People who prefer red usually have a great zest for life and are passionate in their pursuits. Decorate with red when you want to bring a warm excitement or add drama to a setting.

But, a funny thing happens when white is added to red. The color takes on an entirely new attitude, creating feelings of innocence, tenderness and softness. Or perhaps it creates images of romance, intimacy or bliss.

PINK: Pink is another color that has created a new identity through global marketing campaigns. We recognize the pink ribbon as a symbol of breast cancer awareness.

While many pink products were created with females in mind, this color has crossed gender lines and is accepted by males and females alike.

Pink is a calming color which soothes our emotions and relaxes our body. For this reason, pink is the perfect color not only for the bedroom, but any area where relaxation is the desired effect.

People who prefer pink are the soft, tender friends. Romantic and refined, they are upset by violence of any kind. If you love pink, you are most likely very talented, but possibly not overly ambitious.

PURPLE: The purple person is mysterious and highly creative with a quick perception of spiritual ideas. People who consider themselves unique often choose purple.

Historically, the color purple was always associated with the magical, the spiritual, the secretive, and the dark. In ancient times, it was considered the most precious and valuable of dye colors because of its ties to royalty and nobility.

Although the color purple was not highlighted on the runways last fall, it is expected to gain influence and status throughout 2007-2008. We feel it is important to keep a close watch on the apparel industry, as that is where most color and design trends begin. Since purple is a combination of both red and blue, it can work as either a warm or cool color.

We see a new surge of purple products in home decor; however, most are targeted toward juvenile markets at this time.

Purple can be overpowering at times so it is not the color for everyone. But, if you want a dynamic setting with magical or spiritual undertones, purple is the perfect selection.

BLUE: Blue is universally regarded as the color of the spirit. Its influence from nature is pulled from both the sky and water, leading blue in two very different directions. With blue comes images of eternity, truth, peace, tranquility and serenity.

As America's favorite color, blue has flooded the marketplace, catering to all age and ethnic groups, indoors and out. With its peaceful and serene qualities, blue is an excellent choice for the home. It works particularly well on ceilings, or in small cramped, windowless spaces to alleviate claustrophobia.

People who choose blue as their favorite color are thought to be trusting and sensitive to the needs of others. These same qualities can cause the person to be deeply hurt if that trust is betrayed. Must also be careful of perfectionist tendencies.

GREEN: Of the 8-10 million colors the human eye can see and define, green covers the widest range. The color green is known to stir feelings of health, harmony, balance and restfulness.

As another favorite of the American consumer, green products have saturated the marketplace for the past 25 years. But as concern for the environment increases, greens influenced by nature are the hot look, many times standing where neutrals would have been used before.

Green has also created its own identity. Green design, green products, green building practices, all relating to and creating images of the planet and our environment.

People who choose green are thought to be more stable, balanced, kind and generous.

YELLOW: Yellow is know for being energetic, life-giving, joyful and outgoing. And yellow represents color with an enduring history as a symbol of hope and optimism. Yellow ribbons were worn by women in the 1800s while waiting for their husbands to return home from wartime cavalry. Obviously, this tradition is still carried on today.

More recently, the Lance Armstrong Livestrong Foundation adopted the yellow wristband as a show of support for people fighting and surviving cancer.

In the home, it is an excellent color to draw the eye to areas where attention is needed. And, because it is so sunny and cheerful, yellow can be used to brighten any setting. The association of yellow to the sun is universal. Yellow is luminous and warm and so are the people who prefer it. They are thought to be original and creative.

BROWN: Steady, stable, natural, rugged. Brown represents all the nurturing, life-sustaining, down to earth qualities of Terra Ferma, the very shade of earth itself.

From the beginning of time, nature has been abundant with a wide variety of brown materials to build human habitats with. Such as wood, clay or stone. Because it is ever present in the earth, brown is very easy to live with. Few people claim brown as their favorite color, yet we surround ourselves with it. Brown is viewed as comfortable and protective.

A preference for brown means that you have a steady, reliable character with a keen sense of duty and responsibility. This group loves simplicity, comfort, quality and harmony.

ORANGE: Orange tones are seen as gregarious, fun-loving, and highly energetic.

You see a lot of orange in the food packaging business. As the link between red and yellow, orange takes its traits from both. From red, orange borrows the ability to stimulate the appetite; from yellow it creates high energy. Orange can make you hungry and you want it now! It's no coincidence that several fast food chains have used this color to great advantage.

Children respond very well to orange. It's the color of gumdrops, Popsicles, their first goldfish they won at a carnival, the color of Hallowe'en. To them, orange is a friendly and happy color they associate with pleasurable experiences.

Orange comes and goes in the apparel markets. This season, we see the brighter shade enticing more youthful consumers, while more muted tones are looked on favorably in more mature settings.

In the home, orange creates a warm, welcoming presence. Lighter, peachy tones flatter the skin and provide an excellent backdrop in bath or dressing areas.

Lovers of the color orange work and play hard. They are adventurous and enthusiastic. They like to be with people, their ideas are original and they possess great determination.

Which is your favorite color? Take this poll and see how you express color. [Email subscribers, you may need to go to Flooring The Consumer to participate in the poll.]

Next - White.

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