Matthew Luckiesh.

Light and color in advertising and merchandising online

. (page 1 of 16)
Online LibraryMatthew LuckieshLight and color in advertising and merchandising → online text (page 1 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


JGHT AND COLOR

IN ADVERTISING
AND MERCHANDISING



LUCKIESH



From the collection of the
f d

x y n m k

o Prelinger h

u

t w P



v Jjibrary



San Francisco, California
2006



(V






/ f



r



m



\LA



LIGHT AND COLOR IN ADVERTISING
AND MERCHANDISING




"AND NIGHT IS FLED
WHOSE PITCHY MANTLE OVER-VEIL'D THE EARTH."

Shakespeare



(Courtesy of Edison Lamp Works of General Electric Co.)

Maxfield Parrish has so successfully employed the powers of
color that, in our minds, colorfulness is generally associated
with his works.

Frontispiece



Light and Color

IN

Advertising and Merchandising



BY
M. LUCKIESH, D.Sc.

DIRECTOR, LIGHTING RESEARCH LABORATORY

NATIONAL LAMP WORKS or GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY

AUTHOR OF "COLOR AND ITS APPLICATIONS," " LIGHT AND SHADE AND THEIR

APPLICATIONS," "THE LIGHTING ART," "THE LANGUAGE OF



TIONS, ETC.



SECOND PRINTING




NEW YORK

D. VAN NOSTRAND COMPANY, INC.

EIGHT WARREN STREET

1927



COPYRIGHT, 1923 BY
D. VAN NOSTRAND COMPANY, INC.

All rights reserved, including that of translation
into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Composition, Presswork and Binding, by Plimpton Press, Norwood, Mass.



PREFACE

LIGHT and color are powerful advertising and
sales media and their potentiality has been
greatly extended in recent years by developments
in printing and in lighting. They have much in
common and, in fact, are inseparable; therefore
a treatment of both together is quite a natural
course. The author has attempted to analyze
light and color as potentialities in advertising and
in merchandising, basing his discussions on years
of observation and research. The final word has
not been written in these chapters; indeed, this
volume is but a systematic beginning. However,
it is the hope that a study of the material pre-
sented will be of value in helping to guide the
expenditure of the billions of dollars devoted to
advertising and merchandising. It has been the
aim to include only established facts and results
of explorations into the many byways from which
light and color have acquired their effectiveness.
Tedious technical details have been subordinated
in favor of popular treatment so that this volume
would be practicable, helpful and interesting to
the general reader, the advertising specialist, the



vi PREFACE

commercial artist, the color printer, the mer-
chandiser, the interior decorator, the lighting
specialist, the architect, the manufacturer, and to
others who deal with light and color as expressive
media.

M. LUCKIESH.
NOVEMBER, 1922



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

FOR cooperation in connection with the illustrations, the
author and the publisher are indebted to many individuals
and companies and they especially express their apprecia-
tion to: American Writing Paper Co., Holyoke, Mass.;
Anaconda Sales Co., New York, N. Y.; N. W. Ayer &
Son, Philadelphia, Pa.; J. D. Bates Advertising Agency,
Springfield, Mass.,; Barton, Durstine & Osborn, New York,
N. Y.; George Batten Co., New York, N. Y.; Canfield
Paper Co., New York, N. Y.; Champion Coated Paper
Co., Hamilton, Ohio; Cox Confectionery Co., East Boston,
Mass.; Edison Lamp Works of G. E. Co., Harrison, N. J.;
Fiberloid Corporation, Indian Orchard, Mass.; Fuller and
Smith, Cleveland, Ohio; Gilman Printing Co., Cleveland,
Ohio; Hammermill Paper Co., Erie, Pa.; Handel Co.,
Meriden, Conn.; Hartford Fire Insurance Co., Hartford,
Conn.; Holophane Glass Co., New York, N. Y.; Ivanhoe
Regent Works, of G. E. Co., Cleveland, Ohio; Johns-
Manville, Inc., New York, N. Y.; Knox Hat Co., New
York, N. Y.; Kohler Co., Kohler, Wise.; National Lamp
Works of G. E. Co., Cleveland, Ohio; National X-Ray
Reflector Co., Chicago, 111.; Nordyke and Marmon Co.,
Indianapolis, Ind.; Onondaga Pottery Co., Syracuse, N. Y.;
Frank Presbrey Co., New York, N. Y.; Mr. W. D. A.
Ryan, General Electric Co., Schenectady, N. Y.; F.
Schumacher and Co., New York, N. Y.; Sherwin-Williams
Co., Cleveland, Ohio; Simplex Sampling Assn., New York,
N. Y.; W. & J. Sloane, New York, N. Y.; Steinway & Sons,
New York, N. Y.; J. Walter Thompson Co., New York,
N. Y.; and Underwood Typewriter Co., New York, N. Y.

vii



CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. INTRODUCTION i

II. CHARACTERISTICS OF COLOR 14

III. COLOR PREFERENCE 27

IV. EMOTIONAL VALUE 42

V. SYMBOLISM 55

VI. ATTENTION- VALUE 72

VII. EFFECTIVENESS OF COLOR 87

VIII. SELECTING COLORS 106

IX. LIGHTING VERSUS PIGMENTS 132

X. THE SHOW-WINDOW 151

XI. DISPLAYS 176

XII. STORES 196

XIII. DISTINCTIVE INTERIORS 213

XIV. ELECTRICAL ADVERTISING 239

XV. THE ESTHETIC SENSE 257



RESUME OF ILLUSTRATIONS



Realism

Plates III, VI, IX, XVIII, XIX, XXIV
Realism plus environment

Plates VIII, XV, XVI, XVII, XX, XXI
Red as the second color

Plates XII, XX
Color of paper (or background) as a part of design

Plates XIII, XIV, XXIII
Fancy or suggestion

Plates IV, XI, Frontispiece
Color as a background

Plate XXV
Trademark

Plate XXVI
Black and white versus color

Plates XXXIV, XXXV
Depicting effects of products

Plates I, X
Principles of color

Plates II, VII
Interior lighting

Plates X, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX, XXXI
Signs and flood-lighting

Plates XXXII, XXXIII
Colored light

Plates VII, X
Fireworks

Plate XXII

k)



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

PLATE

Maxfield Parrish has so successfully employed the powers
of color that, in our minds, colorfulness is generally
associated with his works. Frontispiece.

I. It is impossible to do justice to a lighting effect by pic-
torial means; but by using color in the illustration,
much of the charm of lighting may be suggested.

II. Illustrating the principles of the mixture of paints, dyes,
inks, etc., and also some color-harmonies.

HI. Illuminating glassware of highly decorative quality is now
available in many designs for distinctive interiors.

IV. Just as a fine instrument at the hands of Paderewski
yields the charming Minuet, colors guided by an artist
yield the music of light.

V. Paint is a wonderful medium from the viewpoint of
variety of effects obtainable. Decorative schemes can
play important roles in modern merchandising as well
as in office, home and factory. In advertising the
possibilities of paint, color is very essential.

VI. Here, color is not only decorative, but adds realism to the
product and emphasizes waning natural light.

VII. Illustrating the effects of colored lights on the appearance
of colors.

VIII. Color not only lends realism to the materials and deco-
rations of a portable lamp but also aids in depicting
the environment. Color-printing can also alter the
white page of the insert to a more harmonious tint,
xiii



xiv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

IX. Color not only attracts attention but emphasizes certain
parts of the motor. The subdued color in the back-
ground reduces the contrast and produces a more artistic
result.

X. Modern reflectors, colored accessories, and spotlights have
placed the wonderful powers of light in the hands of the
display-artist.

XI. Delicacy of coloring is an appropriate garment for this
delightful fancy.

XII. In this case red is very appropriate for it vividly suggests
and powerfully emphasizes the evil nature of fire. It is
so often the best second color that sometimes it is used
where another color would serve better.

XIII. The color of the paper can be effectively used as a part of

the design.

XIV. When the shadows are deep one color can be very effective

on a paper of different color.

XV. Besides depicting things as they are, harmonious colors
quality in a distinctive product.



XVI. In this advertisement the appeal is not only achieved by
color in the advertised product (asbestos Colorblende
shingles) but largely by color-harmony of the roof and
its environment.

XVII. Color aids materially this pictorial suggestion of an appro-
priate place for a box of chocolates.

XVIII. When a product is beautiful it is a good subject for repre-
sentation in color.

XIX. This combination of color lithography and embossing by
a patented process depicts textiles with remarkable
realism.

XX. Red as a second color is very appropriate in this case for,
besides increasing the attractiveness of the advertise-
ment, it provides the flesh tint.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xv

XXI. Copper roofing described in black and white can not more
than feebly suggest the beautiful colorings which the
product possesses. Color-printing is a powerful ally in
introducing such a product.

XXII. The expressiveness of light has been utilized on a tre-
mendous scale by Mr. W. D'A. Ryan on many occasions.
Among his many developments is the scintillator con-
sisting of great jets of illuminated steam. Here is
illustrated the Zone " salvo " at the Panama Pacific
Exposition in which search-lights aggregating over 2^
billion candle-power were used.

XXIII. Colored paper simplifies color-printing and is particularly
useful for decorative effects.

XXIV. Color aids greatly in depicting the beauty of design hi
this silk brocade which is representative of the transi-
tion between the art of Louis XIV and Louis XV
periods.

XXV. Black has great potentiality. Here it is novel, dignified
and effective as a background for color.

XXVI. Color in a trademark superposes all of its many powers
upon what would otherwise be merely outline form.
Certainly the use of color has been amply justified for
trademarks, wrappers, packages, etc.

XXVII. The lighting combined with the "crystals," "snow-
balls" and other decorative features produced a
powerful effect of " coolness " in the Alexandria hotel
in Los Angeles.

XXVIII. Modern Incandescent lamps may be safely concealed in
fixtures, behind cornices, and elsewhere so that lighting
and architecture can be harmonized. A great variety
of lighting effects are obtainable.

XXIX. The store can have all the advantages of natural day-
light by means of modern artificial lighting units
without the disadvantages of natural daylight and at
no greater cost.



xvi LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

XXX. The "artificial daylight" units on the show case reveal
the true daylight color-values of merchandise thereby
helping to make the modern store independent of
natural light.

XXXI. The lighting of distinctive shops should not only be use-
ful and decorative but should be designed so that the
particular merchandise appears to advantage.

XXXII. A bit of The Great White Way in New York where light
as an advertising medium flashes messages to a million
persons daily.

XXXIII. By means of artificial light exteriors can be rendered

very conspicuous at night. The advertising value of
flood-lighting and outline-lighting has been firmly es-
tablished by some of the most prominent merchandisers.

XXXIV. This plate is reproduced in color in Plate XXXV.

XXXV. Note the value of color by comparing this with Plate
XXXIV.

XXXVI. Color-printing depicts everything but the fragrance of

flowers and it may even suggest that.

XXXVII. The solid blue in the background emphasizes the white

fixtures; it is a " retiring" color; it is associated with
water; it suggests coolness and cleanliness. In fact,
it has no rival for the present purpose.




(Courtesy of National Lamp Works of General Electric Co.)



PLATE I.

It is impossible to do justice to a lighting effect by pictorial
means; but by using color in the illustration, much of the charm of
lighting may be suggested.



J^ight and Qolor

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION

MAN enjoys a number of senses each of which
contributes toward his usefulness, sensi-
tiveness, and happiness. He would relinquish
none voluntarily but if compelled to choose he
would cling to the last to vision. It is only neces-
sary to imagine the loss of each of the other senses
to realize that we could go our usual ways with-
out serious difficulty. But when vision fails us it
is calamitous, for the main doorway of impression
has been closed. A screen hems us in, impene-
trable but for the sounds of the world out of reach
and for the touch of things near at hand. For
most of us the course of our lives would be
abruptly altered. Light and color through which
we obtained most of our impressions would no
longer be effective. Perhaps only then would we
realize their powers of expression and impression.
There is nothing startlingly new in the fore-
going paragraph. It is introduced merely to em-



2 INTRODUCTION

phasize the fact that, in general, the impressions
which we gain through the doorway of vision rank
first in number, in variety, in appeal, in impor-
tance, in vividness, and in permanency. But in
dealing with vision we must include light in the
same thoughts, for light and vision are dependent
upon each other. Besides these there is another
element which seems to have been bestowed for
good measure. We can exist without the ability
to see color but color-vision adds a magical
drapery over our surroundings. If we were color-
blind we would see an infinite variety of grays.
Instead most of us see these grays of many hues
varying in intensity of light a variety of
shades; and varying in intensity of color a
variety of tints. Color- vision adds much to most
of the impressions which we gain through the
eyes.

Therefore light and color are extremely im-
portant factors in any appeal through the visual
sense. Treatises on advertising generally pass by
this phase of color with a superficial chapter.
Usually this chapter is an expression of the casual
ideas and impressions of a single individual who
has not been able to spend much of his time in
this complex field. The psycho-physiological
realm is one that can be first invaded successfully
by the scientist and its secrets can be brought
forth only by proper experiments. It would be a



INTRODUCTION 3

relatively simple matter if we had what might be
termed an average individual but we cannot es-
tablish an average individual without performing
these many and almost endless researches.

Nobody will ever write the last word in such
fields and the author does not hope to do more
than to present data and analyses which may be
helpful to the merchandiser and perhaps interest-
ing to others. Much scientific work has been done
pertaining to the expressiveness and impressive-
ness of light and color but still relatively little is
known and much remains unknown. However,
many years of attention to various phases of light
and color have brought the conviction that a
treatment of them from the present viewpoint
would be helpful to many involved in various
phases of merchandising and interesting even to
the general reader.

It is not the hope or the intention to set forth
simple rules whereby a mechanic can become a
successful merchant by merely beckoning light
and color to his aid. The web is too intricate to
be completely untangled. It is the primary aim
to lead the reader into the many byways so that
perhaps through these glimpses of correlated
analyses he may use these allies more helpfully or
may understand them better. At least he should
enjoy a closer acquaintance with their potentiali-
ties. Light and color are both treated because



4 INTRODUCTION

they are so interwoven. Wherever we see color
we have light. Color is of importance in adver-
tising and in lighting effects. Light and lighting
are of importance quite apart from color. There-
fore, color is dealt with first in the abstract and
later in its various applications; and while doing
this, light, lighting, and vision necessarily intrude
so they cannot be passed by unnoticed. In fact,
light and lighting are becoming increasingly im-
portant and effective in modern merchandising.
For this reason their applications are discussed at
considerable length in later chapters.

Whether appealing characteristics both im-
pressive and expressive of light and color are
innate in us or in them, or acquired by us or by
them through associations, is a matter that need
not concern us here. By ignoring these questions
we avoid digressions which cannot be discussed
without great speculation and much philosophiz-
ing which would lead far afield. However, it is
of interest to record our reactions and, in order
to lead us to better understanding, to trace the
reasons as far as possible by analyses and the re-
sults of experiments.

In approaching a subject of this character
which involves the psychology of man, race, and
state of civilization, it is well to glance back over
the course of civilization and view in our mind's
eye the conditions which have made mankind



INTRODUCTION 5

what it is. For countless centuries we were na-
ture's children subject to her whims and unac-
quainted with the present artificial world which
we term civilization. The lights, colors, and light-
ing of nature strongly influenced mankind during
its impressionable infancy. These impressions,
gained in the early ages of superstition and com-
parative ignorance, have endured though modified
by usage, knowledge, and other influences of the
artificial world which slowly arose. The sun, the
stars, and other uncontrollable factors, the colors
of great areas of sky, sea, land and vegetation,
the colors of details such as fruit and other foods
all played their part in moulding and even stand-
ardizing the impressions of light and color.

As man progressed he emerged gradually from
the purely natural world. He acquired manual
skill; he developed intellect; he worked; he
thought; he learned nature's secrets; he devel-
oped customs. All these were modified by race,
climate, and fortune. The web of the artificial
world became more and more intricate and in this
web, light and color played many parts. The
primary effects of nature's lights and colors were
modified and multiplied by usage. There was
born the present maze of symbolism. The story-
tellers interwove certain ideas into mythology
which further standardized symbolisms and im-
pressions. Primitive languages give us some idea



6 INTRODUCTION

today of the attitude of our early ancestors.
Ecclesiasts dictated the usage of color to the art-
ists and established much of the symbolism of
light and color in liturgy. These usages persisted
in literature and in painting and were the begin-
nings of the present language of light and color. 1

As we follow the devious pathways back along
the course of civilization we find numberless in-
fluences. Many of these appear in later chapters
but a few are touched upon here to give the reader
a hasty glimpse of the complex course leading to
the present psychology of light and color. Among
the influences was that of cost, and costly colors
became the badge of royalty and of affluence.
Man continually extended usage so that certain
attributes are now established by common con-
sent. Taste and intellect have left their imprints,
and throughout the long and devious pathway to
the present time, certain innate or early acquired
characteristics have persisted . These are the
guide-lines back into the intricate byways of the
past for the analyst who would explore. By com-
bining the fruits of these explorations with those
of scientific experiments we have much interesting
data which it is the aim to correlate.

That light and color are recognized as aids in
advertising and selling is evident on every hand.
It is also evident that many mistakes in the choice

1 The Language of Color, M. Luckiesh, 1918.



INTRODUCTION 7

of colors are made which would have been avoided
by a deeper acquaintance with certain funda-
mentals. Colored advertisements are increasing
in number. Those who pay for them believe in
their value even though there is little knowledge
generally available pertaining to their superiority
over black and white. Colors are a prominent
part of trademarks, wrappers, cartons and bill-
boards and the signs on the great white ways are
blazing forth in increasing brightness and many
colors. In all these phases of merchandising
many factors influence the degree of effectiveness
of the expenditure. Appropriateness, color pref-
erence, attention-value, various details of vision,
and many other factors play more or less impor-
tant parts. The combinations of lights and colors
and the attendant problems are numberless, there-
fore this book must confine itself to principles and
analyses with perhaps a few representative cases.
Modern artificial light has such potentialities
that lighting is beginning to be recognized as a
sales aid. A century ago in the age of candles,
artificial light was a feeble aid at best. That was
the age of mere light. It was not until the last
century was waning that we entered upon the age
of more light. The great developments in electric
filament lamps during recent years have given
birth to the age of adequate light. Artificial light
costs only one-fiftieth as much as it did a century



8 INTRODUCTION

ago. This low cost makes artificial light a great
aid to the merchandiser. The powerful light-
sources enclosed in glass bulbs insure safety and
flexibility of lighting which have introduced tre-
mendous possibilities into lighting effects.

The progressive merchant is demanding higher
intensities of illumination in store and show-
window. Novel and attractive lighting effects
are enticing the populace to the store, to the
show-window, and to the theatre. The variety
of effects due to the mobility of light is becoming
recognized. This mobility gives vitality to light-
ing effects far excelling the fixed expressions of
the decorator's media. The wonderful lighting
effects in our large theatres, public halls, and
other large exteriors as well as those at our out-
door gatherings and expositions cannot be rivalled
by the secondary lights reflected from pigments.
The work of the sculptor, the architect, the
painter, and the decorator is given life and
expression by lighting which as a primary medium
influences their works and adds much through its
mobility.

Modern artificial light provides endless possi-
bilities of lighting in the market places and in
signs along the highways. Numberless novelties
and displays of lighting effects remain still unused
but knowledge of fundamentals makes it a simple
matter for anyone to adapt light to his needs.




YELLOW
YELLOW GREEN/ ! \YELLOW ORANGE





BLUE GREEN/ m ^'NEUTRAL GRAY,^^^ \ RED ORANGE

'GRAY BLUE ^fe. GRAY" RED



VIOLET



(Courtesy of The Sherwin-Williams Co.)

PLATE II

Illustrating the principles of the mixture of paints,
dyes, inks, etc. and also some color-harmonies. Strictly
the red should be purplish and the blue should be
greenish to satisfy the requirements of subtractive
primaries. The additive primaries, which are the
basis of mixing lights, are red, green and blue.



INTRODUCTION 9

There is no better measure of civilized progress
than the state of development of artificial light
and lighting. We have come a long way in a half
century in this respect. If artificial light were
denied us how far would mankind progress?

It is the hope that this book will help show
the way toward even more effective usage of light
and color in merchandising by suggesting possi-
bilities as well as by pointing out misuses. Among
the variety of usage of light and color in adver-
tising and hi selling there are many instances of
thoughtlessness or of lack of acquaintance with
the many fundamental principles. As already
stated some data have been obtained but much
remains to be unearthed. However there is
enough available so that these allies can be used
wisely instead of unwisely. It is impossible to
give many simple rules for meeting the number-
less individual cases. The web is too intricate
for thorough simplification for all cases collec-
tively but it is possible to provide systematic
discussions and revelations of the knowledge
available so that any given case may be satis-
factorily treated. Furthermore with a knowledge
of fundamentals it is often a relatively simple
matter to recommend the best color or combina-
tion of colors for a certain advertisement or trade-
mark, but to expound the reasons is usually a
matter of lengthy exposition. This is also true



io INTRODUCTION

of lighting effects, although the lighting possi-
bilities are generally more readily analyzed.

If the chapters which follow provide the adver-
tiser, merchant, and others with suggestions and
a clearer view of the possibilities of light and
color, and interest the general reader who likes
to delve into the byways of knowledge, the author
will feel that he has accomplished his purpose.


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryMatthew LuckieshLight and color in advertising and merchandising → online text (page 1 of 16)