For all those out there who buy cosmetics online, “life is like a box of chocolates”…. You never know what color you are REALLY going to get. It is hard to tell what the colors look like in real life based on the color smear window they put up as a guide for the shades available. Same thing goes for matching clothes with kicks….although you think you may remember the color of the swooshes on your hot new blazers, you may end up buying a coordinating item that is ice blue when you were really going for turquoise.
Now there is a practical solution for these fashion fiascos – an ink pen by Korean designer Jinsun Park called the color picker pen featured on designboom. Much like the eyedropper tool on Photoshop, this pen captures colors as they naturally appear in real life and then these colors can be used for physical drawings. A sensor detects a color in an object (your sneakers, perhaps?) and then matches the scanned color to a color display. An RGB cartridge (red, green, and blue) then mixes inks in the right proportions to create real ink that is the same color as the color scanned into the device.
As of right now, the color picker pen is only a “concept” idea, meaning it is not for sale and is still being developed. Graphic nerdies everywhere have pointed out that RGB ink is not realistic, as most inks used in printing today are subtractive, or done in CMYK (for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key, which usually means black). Subtractive color works by partially or entirely masking certain colors on the typically white background, and RBG utilizes an additive color system, where white is the “additive” combination of all primary colored inks. Basically, this means using RGB colors would probably waste a bunch of ink, among other things, and as a result, the concept of the pen is not really practical at this very moment.
The best application of the pen idea would be to cut out the ink altogether. The color pen could transfer the color data from the real life objects and translate that information to a color either in Photoshop or replicate the color through a software program that gives a digital “formula” for the color. That way, we could get the Peony pink lipgloss we want instead of the Orange lipstick that arrives in the mail from Sephora. Not that this happened to me, or anything.
- Pantone’s Color of Spring 2013: Monaco Blue
- Eyes To The Sky: Taste The Rainbow in 2010
- STRANGEBEAUTIFUL Library of Nail Color
- M.I.S.S. Techcessories – Adobe Photoshop Touch for Smartphones
- (capsule) NY: STRANGEBEAUTIFUL Library of Color