Not to be outdone by the Dutch, US scientists assigned an official color to the universe. The color is named Cosmic Latte and its hexadecimal RGB value is #FFF8E7.
Science first identified turquoise as the color of the universe. However, that appeared to be a software error. Fortunately, because who wants to live in a turquoise universe?

It's official. The Amsterdam red light district has its own red paint color, which will go nicely with the red lights. 

As you may know, Amsterdam is famous for its red light district. Prostitution is considered a legal, albeit heavily regulated trade. Most people in Amsterdam frown upon prostitution. However, because it is as old as the world, they figure it won't go away any time soon either. Therefor it's better to regulate it, so that at least they can keep the criminals out the door, who generally run the trade. This policy has given way to the famous town district.

Engels Verf, a well known local paint retailer, has taken it upon themselves to establish an official 'hooker red'. They collaborated with actual prostitutes to pick the 'real' red for the red light district. The color was unveiled recently at the occasion of the opening a new branche of the business. 

As you may know, we operate a color rendering service  Professional clients such as paint contractors, paint brands and designers send us pictures of buildings. We make the pictures interactive so that they can be colored. This helps our clients to sell their colors and designs to their customers. The photo below can be colored here.

From time to time we put our competitors', as well as our own color rendering service, to the test. Recently we submitted a real-life job, which was first submitted to us by one of our own clients, to some of our competitors. We think it's healthy to keep an eye on our own performance, in comparison to others. For your information, we share the results with you. The images below have been rendered with similar colors. But as you can see, not all colors are created equal. The full report can be downloaded here

The last couple of years we've been bombarded with apps that claim to measure color. The procedure is simple: take a picture of a colored object and the app will tell you which paint color comes closest. However, these apps never deliver as promised. Most measurements are off, not even close. Your green could easily become blue, your brown becomes red. The reason is simple: colors in a photo are subject to lighting, which hugely affects the color of the surface. This is explained in the very first post on our weblog: 'What is Color?'
As a result, colors can only be measured reliably with an additional hardware measurement device that has its own standarized light source. There are some on the market which are small and can be coupled with your smartphone. Which is great, but still requires you to purchase and carry around an extra device. However, some German scientists may have come up with a solution, the HawkSpex app. Their app uses the smartphone screen as a light source.

By manipulating the light of the screen, they managed to turn a smartphone into a full-fledged spectrophotometer. Spectros are great. Not only do they allow you to measure colors reliably, they can also tell a lot about the chemical components of an object. The latter feature is used by the new app to test if food is safe to eat. But considering that the smartphone is turned into a spectro, it seems only a matter of time before someone comes up with an app to reliably match a surface to paint color.

Structural colors are on the rise. Structural coloration is the production of color by nano structured surfaces, rather than pigments. Peacock feathers and butterfly wings are examples of structural color.
Lately we've seen many research papers appearing on the subject. A recent one is here, by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. Their work is a follow up on the work we reported on earlier here. After imitating Tarantula blue, they now discovered a way to make the color consistent when viewed from different angles. 

Structural colors aren't ready for prime-time yet. But that only seems a matter of time...