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How Well Do You See Color?

You say you’re looking for a white top mat for your artwork?  Do you want antique white, warm white, whisper white, glacier white, sand dollar, eiderdown, off white, alabaster, soft white, bright white, very white, cotton white, white linen, feather white, ivory, meringue, snowdrift, buff, crystal, chalk, Everest, Devonshire, Dover white, snow white, whitecap, oyster, Spanish white, wheat, digital white or just plain white?

The list above barely scratches the surface of the choices of white mats available.  Whenever we pull out a stack of mat samples for a client’s artwork, we often hear, “Wow!  I never knew there could be so many different shades of white!” When you fan them out, you can see slight color variations – warm shades (with tints of yellow or orange) and cool shades (with tints of blue, purple or green). Picking a mat with the wrong color temperature can throw off the balance of the framed piece.

In general, women see variations in color better than men.  In fact, only 1 out of 255 women have some form of color deficiency versus 1 out of 12 men (although more women seem to have the “I need to match the mats to the pillow on the other side of the room” syndrome).  Want to see how well you differentiate colors?  Take this on-line challenge:

The term “color-blindness” is rather misleading.  “Color deficiency” is a more accurate description of the condition.  It is far more common to men (8%) than to women (0.4%) since it is encoded on the X sex chromosome.  A person with normal color vision can see 100 different hues whereas a severely color deficient person can only see 20.  That person would look at the stack of white mat samples and not be able to see the difference between “meringue” and “snow drift.”

All this is to say don’t feel bad if you have a difficult time picking out mats. You’re not alone and that’s why we’re here.  We’ve been doing it for many years and are quite good at if you’ll pardon me for saying so.  Bring in your artwork and we’ll help you find what looks best with your artwork (maybe a Spanish white top mat with a Stuart green, verde, Serengeti, gecko, green olive, wasabi, jalapeno, parakeet, ocean mist, sauterne, medieval forest, sage, Kelly green, real teal, sea green, alpine green or Charleston green inner mat). Oy.

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