The Poetry in Paint Chip Colors

best paint colors

Can beautiful paint chip colors and their creative names inspire a whole lot more than a room makeover? Indeed!

Every day for 100 days, graphic designer Rachel Berger picked a paint chip out of a bag and responded to it in writing. It's amazing and poetic paint chip love.


Yep, from October 30, 2008 to February 6, 2009, Rachel let herself be inspired by color. I love this idea. Read a sampling of Rachel's favorite forty paint chip writing on Design Observer.

Here are three that I love:

11 Fresh Greens
My stepfather doesn’t like green food. Categorically, I’m pretty sure. Green: leaves of any kind, beans or peas, sprouts, stalks, things that come in stalks. He is liable to say “ew” to things that come in stalks, like he did when my friend Liz was over and sneezed at the dinner table. Vegetables. Fruit too. He’ll eat a banana if my mom slips one into his lunch pail, but his preferred fruit delivery system is a personal fruit pie, the kind that comes in white waxed paper and seems itself to be dipped in wax.

23 Pale Orchid
She was the best reader in third grade. She knew it. We all knew it.

If we were lucky, we had a thing we were best at. Josh was the best swimmer. Michael was the best at math. Liora had the best clothes. I was the tallest. Being tallest meant I was often line leader, asked to reach things, mistaken for a fourth grader. But my superlative was born of dumb luck. Reading was a real skill. And I hated her for it. 
She read in a smug, fluid sing-song, rarely bothered keying her inflection to aspects of the content, ignored most punctuation. Speed and precision were it. One afternoon, her turn came to read from a text about the tropical rainforest. “The tropical rain forest is a forest of tall trees in a region of year-round warmth. An average of 50 to 260 inches of rain falls yearly.” etc, etc. It poured out of her in an unrelenting cascade of perfect. “Some of the better-known epiphytes include ferns, lichens, mosses, cacti, bromeliads, and orchids.” Wait, did she just say orCHids? The corners of my mouth turned up in a terrible, triumphant grimace. But it’s or-Kids.

I mouthed the word. Meanwhile, she stumbled. She knew something had gone horribly wrong, but it was too late.

64 Shoreline Green
I wore a silk teal suit at my Bat Mitzvah. From Ann Taylor. The shoulder pads were between the lining and the shell, so if I’d wanted to take them out — I didn’t — I couldn’t. If Hillary Clinton had had a Bat Mitzvah, I like to think it’s what she would have worn. That powdery greeny-blue, if there had been a giant Tiffany’s box on the bima, it would have looked like it sired me.

Thanks, Kelly at Design Crush, for sharing about this inspiring project.

Related posts:

Pretty Paint Chips Turned Into Bookmarks

I Found The Perfect Gray

I Want to Paint the Floor White

Does color inspire you? What do you think when I say Burnt Sienna? Cornflower Blue? Carnation Pink? Does it bring back a memory, make you think of a special person or place?

Image via Design Observer


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