When it comes to naming colors, sometimes a perfect descriptor comes to mind almost instantaneously, and sometimes I end up pondering possibilities for hours or days. Either way, my thoughts are always on how well the name conveys the character of the color and how successfully it will link the color to something positive in the mind of the customer.
You can imagine me raising an eyebrow when I saw a well-respected paint company like Farrow & Ball using names like Dead Salmon, Arsenic, Monkey Puzzle, and Clunch. This inquiring mind had to know why.
Learning about the origins of the name Dead Salmon took nothing more than a look at the Farrow & Ball website, where it says, “The name comes from a painting bill for the library at Kedleston of 1805, though in fact analysis suggests that the colour is far closer to No. 21 Ointment Pink. Dead Salmon as depicted here is rather more ‘tired’ in character than it once was.
I’m not certain how something can be any more “tired” than being dead, but I understood their point. Ointment Pink is a warm, neutral color that does look slightly more “lively” than Dead Salmon.