‘Shades of Gray’ taps into Pantone’s grayscaleColors mean so much to each of us, even those unblessed with color blindness. The one thing all sighted people can do, even if colorblind, is see shades of gray. And according to the most read books this summer, the “50 Shades of Gray” trilogy, there are extreme versions of color interpretation.
By: Sharon Cox, The Jamestown Sun
Colors mean so much to each of us, even those unblessed with color blindness. The one thing all sighted people can do, even if colorblind, is see shades of gray. And according to the most read books this summer, the “50 Shades of Gray” trilogy, there are extreme versions of color interpretation.
In some earlier columns I referred to Pantone Color System’s “Tango Orange” and “Honeysuckle Pink” as being the highly respected color system’s named hot picks for summer and spring, respectively. And if you’ve been to any of the plant/flower nurseries in Jamestown and saw a selection of gerbera daisies, then you saw the two spring and summer color selections. They are so elaborate and bright. But I made no references then to gray plants or flowers.
If you looked for the shades of gray flowers, it’s best to look in the gray-foliaged dusty millers. They provide an astounding contrast to the brilliant warmth of orange and pinks, especially if joined by a yellow-green or deep purple-black potato vine or similarly-hued foliage plant.
The Artemisia group includes herb flavoring varietals as well as a visual dessert plate of deep-lobed-leaf patterns. Some look like Brandenburg lace while others look like a spider web delicately posed on strong equally textured stems. Stachys has a variety called bunny ears that provides a lovely shade of gray and some hairiness as well.
In my Pantone book, the eight pages … 150 to 157 … gives us at least 64 shades of lovely and soothing grays, with the extremes of Ebony (No. 19-4104) to White Smoke (No. 12-0704).
When I read Samantha Critchell’s story in the June 3, Forum story about the thousands of shades of gray available for fashion designers, The AP fashion writer referred to the Pantone system of color selection. I must say, while engrossed in the three novels, I was not thinking about the shades of gray available in Pantone Color Systems at all.
Having read all three of E.L. James’s books, I didn’t pull feelings/emotions of gray from them. The author used color descriptions throughout her writings and described in clear detail certain color connections and meanings.
The color of Christian Gray’s hair, for example, and the intensity of his eye color simply drew an emotional tactile hand that made the reader seek out a hillock of last year’s moss, or imagine a pearlescent liquid gray-blue so deep as to drown in it, sort of like Dumbledore’s pool that Harry Potter dove into to go back in time. That mysterious, unending deep Luminous Lagoon Pantone No 16-4722 (but darker) was the color I envisioned when reading about Christian Gray’s eyes.
The Audis Mr. Gray gave his subs were in shades of silver gray. My Pantone book had one metallic silver gray and it’s called simply Silver. I feel certain those vehicles were not a shiny, metallic silver. More than likely they were in a satin surface and perhaps metal-flake as opposed to overall-metallic chrome metal looking. But the color I was looking for was not in this book.
James writes of a royal blue carpet, the red exercise room and Anastasia Steele’s deep chestnut hair, all descriptive colors meant to fill the reader’s senses of smell and touch, which in our imagination is altered for each individual. That’s one of the setbacks for an illustrated book or even a film: that the viewer or reader cannot bring to the story what he or she desires as perfection, or idealistic. A book sans pictures gives the reader his or her imagination to illustrate the chapter book. Depending on the readers’ experience, the book will be more or less vivid.
In a deep bow to Critchell’s fashion sense, I will say that a pair of dove gray (Pantone No 15-0000) Christian Louboutin stilettos (a $3,295 “steal”) would be a gray I knew I’d love. Somehow it is that gray — dove-gray — that I saw from the start, in those shoes found in “Fifty Shades Darker, “ page 127.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.