What Sam Wrote: “Healthy Hues”

Or, as MY original headline said: “Hues You Can Use.”

Twice a year the Pantone Color Institute releases a report about which colors you’ll see popping up in fashion, in furniture and elsewhere in life. It also announces a “Color of the Year”;  2012 is all about Tangerine Tango, for example.

I loved when those reports showed up at the Tribune — in fact, when I was about to paint the rooms of Casa Flor, I pulled out the previous fall’s report to show Mr. Brooks how well certain colors would complement each other if they were used in neighboring rooms. (I still have that report tucked away somewhere. I think that every house I live in will be painted according to that palette.)

The Tribune‘s homes writer and I were also fascinated by Leatrice Eiseman, a color expert and the executive director of the institute who is usually quoted in articles. It all started with her first name — Le-a-trice, which when we’d say it aloud we’d drag out the syllables to sound more posh — and moved through how cool it would be to have a vocation all about color trends. We’d seen the author’s photo on her books about color, and I liked to imagine that with a career like hers, supersaturated by color, she always wore slim-fitting, all-black clothing — sort of like Steve Jobs, but with better pants and shoes. It would be not only her  uniform but her respite.

Which is to say, I probably thought a little bit too much about Leatrice Eiseman there for a while. It’s probably good she didn’t know this when I received the assignment for an article for Vim & Vigor about whether color could influence your health.

“Oh, my God, I know exactly who I could interview!” I remember thinking. “Please please please let this interview come through.”

It did, of course, and “Lee” couldn’t have been a better interview. When you’ve been a reporter for a while, you can always appreciate sources who know their shit. They’re not just well-versed in the subject matter, but also skilled at conversational interviews and appropriate sound bites. Sometimes people use the phrase media-savvy pejoratively, but I think it’s one of the highest compliments you can give someone. (Granted, I’m a member of the media.) I remember hanging up after the interview and thinking: “Damn, she’s good.”

(Click on any of the four pages to bring up a full-size version in a new browser window.)

Vim & Vigor‘s readership includes some Baptist-based healthcare clients, so I take a generally conservative tone with its articles. But writers always like to see what they can get away with — and in this case, the copy editor sent me an email expressing her amazement that “sexual arousal” had remained intact through the editing process. (You’re going to go back now and read the whole thing again, aren’t you?)  Other little Sammitt delights:

  • “the gloomy gray of cloud-packed skies and snow-slushed streets”
  • “an antidepressant that comes from a paint can instead of a pill bottle”
  • “[Black’s] inky darkness evokes moonless nights and the finality of the grave, making it the go-to hue for mourners, Goths and sullen teens alike.”
  • referring to gray as black’s “lethargic cousin.”

And, of course there’s a food element. But believe it or not, I didn’t pitch that part — the sidebar was included in the original assignment. My first attempt at a “call to action” was a smartphone app that identified which paint hues would best replicate a photographed color, but since Vim & Vigor is a health and wellness publication, not a design one, I eventually had to go another route.

WHAT SAM WORE: 3-13-12
The shirt: Polo by Abercrombie & Fitch, from Buffalo Exchange.
The pants: Dark-wash slim-fit jeans from Uniqlo, New York.
The shoes: Onitsuko Tiger sneakers, from Nordstrom, Chandler Fashion Center.

One response to “What Sam Wrote: “Healthy Hues”

  1. eisemanandassociates

    Your article flatters me. Thank you for sharing this.

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