Monday, July 19, 2010

11. Questions From A Customer

I want to share an email I received this morning from a delightful male customer, and my response to him: Hi Janis, I received my Palette in the mail on Friday. I love these colors! Though I have to admit some of them scare me! I assume I should match anything i wear as closely as possible to the colors herein. I'm really wondering if I can actually wear some of these colors. I'm thinking of the more muted ones or the very bright ones.... There are so many variations on each color its hard to believe. There is even hot pink! Although I don't think I'd ever wear hot pink, I am surprised it was included. I didn't think my skin would respond to such a color, like maybe it was too cool or bright or something.

Interesting....Some of these browns are quite close to my skin tone so I'm wondering if they are best worn as jackets or away from the face. For example #121 of the N8 [First Edition] color palette is the same color as the skin color border. So wearing that color would make me appear naked. Talk about slipping into something more comfortable LOL. I'm thinking it depends on the effect I want to achieve when wearing it. So if I wanted to have a very quiet, intimate effect these colors that are closer to my native coloring would be the thing. Also going by your blog when taking into account color coordination number 3 skin tone would be included in all my choices. Its all very fascinating. I'm looking forward to discovering how this will work out. Cheers!

MBC: The colors in my system are quite different from the 4 or 12 palette color season system. They are derived in very different ways, but with the same goal which is to identify colors that work well on an individual. The older system is necessarily cumbersome. Either a spectrophotometer, or a draping technique of material, must be used to determine the "temperature" of the skin, and then a palette of colors are subjectively selected for the individual. One of the errors of the seasonal system is in not recognizing that the temperature of a color is relative to the other colors around it. A color cannot be an absolute "cool" or "warm."

With the method, one's skin tone color is treated just like any other color, and can be identified with the following measures: RGB (red, green, blue), CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), HSB (hue, saturation, and brightness), or HVC (hue, value and chroma). The computer, not a human using his best judgment, then objectively looks at the numbers and selects only the colors that fall within a restricted/proscribed distance from that skin tone. Now if all of those filtered colors were the final color selection, there would still be a degree of chaos within the palette because colors, even those found within a particular hue group (such as blue) could only be selected at random.

It would be like hitting keys on the piano keyboard at random, which would sound obnoxious, even though the number of keys had already been restricted to 88. So, like notes written within guidelines to create beautiful music out of the chaos, the colors in each palette must also be further refined. The last significant action is to give rhythm and harmony to each palette by applying another filter. Any one of a variety of progressive mathematical algorithms could be applied, but I have chosen a very simple, basic progression: All colors except those that are precisely 5%, 10%, 20%, 40%, [+60%, 2012] and 80-88% contrast(difference) distance from the targeted skin tone are eliminated. It's like writing notes to create harmony in music. At this point the colors are controlled because the numbers are controlled.

Theoretically, all of the colors can be mixed-and-matched at this point. Now, as you are already sensing, you will not necessarily want to wear all of the colors. You may not like all of the possible combinations of colors. And you will need to be selective of colors to achieve the look you desire. provides you with a precisely correct collection of 620 [380, 2012] best colors for your skin tone, including nuanced colors. We offer you color scheme suggestions, and carefully organize the color swatches on each page of your album so that you can easily and quickly work with them.

However, there are many great resources for clothing style. Color Me Beautiful, for instance, offers excellent tips on style. I really think their color system is on the right track. It's just that we can determine a cohesive, harmonious color palette now with much, much greater accuracy than the older seasonal systems can, and yet their supplemental style information is spot-on.

It is to be expected that you will see colors in your palette that you had never considered wearing before. After all, a computer can analyze information with greater speed and accuracy than can a person using their best judgment, as in the older color palette selection systems. A hot pink, for example, can be a fun color to try. Maybe in a summer Hawaiian style shirt with a bold print that uses a little of the hot pink for a man. And perhaps in a summer dress for a woman.

My advice to you is to relax and have fun with your colors. You may hesitate to trust some of your colors at first, but the more you use them for your wardrobe selections, and for any other art or craft, the more impressed you will become.

Another tip, if you see a look you like--on a manequin, in a magazine, or on another person--just substitute in your colors for similar colors in the outfit, and you've got your own "better for you" version of the look.

As to the differences between the 24 [33, 2012] color palettes, they are both different and similar. There are a total of 620 [380, 2012] colors in each of the 24 [33, 2012] palettes. Each palette contains colors that fall within all of the color hues around the color wheel ( red, orange, yellow, green... ). And the colors are carefully arranged so that any single page contains only colors that fall within the color hue indicated by a symbol at the top of each page. This page organization makes it easy to use the suggested color schemes at the front of each palette, and to determine if the color of a particular garment or item is in your personal color palette.

There are definite differences from one palette to the next. Of course, the closer one palette falls to the next, for instance, an N4 and an N6 palette, will carry more similar (but not identical) colors than an N1 and an N8. As you glance through all of the palettes it becomes quite noticable that as the palettes progress from the lighter skin tone palettes to the darker ones, some of the colors become darker and more vivid, and there is more contrast between the lighter and darker colors, and between the vivid and more muted colors. All hues, a variety of values, and a variety of chromas are present in each of the 24 [33, 2012] palettes.

All colors are selected with mathematical and computer precision to be exactly correct for the indicated skin tone. Keep in mind there are well over 3 MILLION colors visible to human beings. A computer is able to look at ALL of them and to select out only those colors that fit the criteria being searched for. looks for all of the colors that fit within a very closely defined relationship to a particular skin tone, and then it looks again for a further refined group of colors that work together in perfect color harmony.

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