Color is all around us from household appliances, subway lines, cars and even brand logos where colors define them. Although colors may not be surprisingly unique, they play a significant role in imprinting a certain image to the public. Similarly, colors can represent people’s identities. As visual communication increasingly plays a larger role in society, finding one’s “personal color” cannot be emphasized more.
Colors are represented by 12 different tones and were created in a way that represents the seasons – Spring gives us tones that are warm, clear and light; Summer represents a cool, muted; light tone Autumn appears as warm, muted and dark; and, Winter visualizes the cool, clear and dark. In Korea, this was first introduced by an artwork created in 1993 by colorist Kim Min-kyoung that uses color to express a range of feelings.
As color continues to shape modern communication, companies that focus and specialize on color and art such as IT COLOR are popping up across the globe and in Korea. IT COLOR is a company specialized in colors.
Lee Yoon-seol, CEO of IT COLOR said that color represents her goal to find new values in colors and use them to better one’s journey on life and business. IT COLOR has also been a certified female- owned business where over half the employees identify as female. One of the strengths of this, according to Lee, is that women possess a creative sensitivity that is unique to women.
Although many businesses struggled in 2020 along with the global economy, some managed to thrive in a new market, including IT COLOR.
“2020 was a year that enabled us to produce new ideas and expand our business,” Lee said. “After the coronavirus outbreak, the color industry showed its potential to develop even more. For instance, the sales of yellow and green products increased after the pandemic, possibly to relieve stress from the increased time indoors. Likewise, colors represent changes in people’s sentiment and body, so they are expected to continue rising in importance.”
The notion of personal colors was, according to Lee, already familiar amongst many university students and company employees. However, she now thinks that it is time to spread the idea of finding personal colors, especially for those who are struggling with their identities or finding out who they really are and what they represent.
The case of Kim Eun-woo, a sophomore at Sangmyung University, is a good example that discovering personal colors is a journey in itself. She first discovered the concept on YouTube when watching makeup tutorials. Soon after she discovered her personal color, not by chance, but with the assistance of a professional institution similar to IT COLOR.
“Overall, I was satisfied with the accuracy of the test,” Kim said. “It was conducted by using diverse colors and tones of fabric and I could see the slight changes in my impression through the mirror. The cosmetic products and outfits that the instructor recommended based on my personal color were also useful.”
‘Autumn mute’ was found to be Kim’s color, bringing rich gold undertones into her life. As it is an unfamiliar concept, she is still finding ways in her life where she can make use of this new information.
Today, Kim continues to approach her style in this way by wearing clothing with beige or grey tones, along with make-up to suit the look.
“Now I feel like I am wearing my true colors and gained confidence,” Kim said. “I realize first impressions are important in occasions such as interviews and I hope this experience of finding my personal color plays a major role in increasing my competitiveness in the future.”