Who names the fonts? And, related, who names the paint colors? I am positively certain that I am the girl for that job, you see, so I’m not even asking for a friend. Seriously now, what kind of qualifications do you need? Surely there aren’t physicists with masters degrees in theoretical mathematics and time-space calculus (it’s been awhile since school, I’m just making up degrees) employed in font naming. I mean I previously assumed it was chimps in a garage. You know the old adage about how a monkey on a typewriter in a garage - okay, it probably doesn’t have to specifically be a garage - will, with infinite time, write Shakespeare’s works because of statistics and math and reasons? That dictates that given enough time chimps could come up with “sunshine yellow” for a paint too. But I’ve since amended my assumption to be one that supposes that naming fonts and paints is an actual job that employs an actual person working for an actual company and earning an actual salary. One in which said person sits around all day watching, I don’t know, 80s TV re-runs and eating cheese while randomly writing down words on a piece of paper with a sharpie. Maybe they type.
This is the job for me. Font and paint companies, I’m your girl! I’m creative. I write. I can think inside or outside of the box as desired and frequently at random. I am good with color identification and also obfuscation. I know words like ‘obfuscation’. I use both fonts and colors in my daily life. I have painted before. I don’t actually have a strong opinion on Comic Sans either way, though I never use it myself. I like cheese and also 80s TV re-runs.
No but seriously do they have a random name generator? Or is it really a chimp? If it’s a chimp I’m going to call Anjelica Huston because she is against you using chimps for perverse human entertainment purposes (mostly in film and television but I’m sure she’d take up the font and paint naming crusade too) and also because I will use any excuse to call Anjelica Huston if you provide me with her number. She is awesome. She is the most awesome. I digress. Is it chimps? Or is it an actual job that a real person has? I ask because of the evidence.
Let’s play a game. I’m going to give you a list of words and you are going to tell me if they are paint names, font names or My Little Ponies. (Seriously, Jennifer, Lenore will kick everybody’s ass in the My Little Pony department: but also I just said ‘ass’ so edit what you read her.)
Paint, Font, or Pony
Peau de Soie
Charles in Charge
Fire and Ice
I’m cruelly going to make you read until the end to get the solution to the puzzle I know is tearing you apart. Paint, Font, or Pony is my new favorite parlor game. Couples, play this at your wedding!
In the name game anything goes. I mean honestly there’s no structure or rationale behind these. I just picked a totally random selection of paints, fonts, and Ponies. There are hundreds, neigh (see what I did there?), thousands more! Names that mean nothing! Names that mean everything! Paints called ‘Misty Mauve’ and then two shades over ‘Mauve Mist’. Paint the opposing wall in ‘Feather Soft’! It doesn’t mean anything, it’s just pomp and circumstance to get you to feel superior about your choices. I have it on very good authority (a man’s) that men can only properly identify nine colors anyway and the rest of the shades are just blurred variations on a single theme. “More pink, pinker, even more pink, very pink, less pink, holy god pink, so pink” and so on. So nine hundred paint colors is really just first world showmanship. Can you visually distinguish between ‘Mauve Mist’ and ‘Misty Mauve’ once they’re on your wall? No, don’t lie to me. Eventually you’ll just tell people the wall is purple and you know it. Which isn’t to disparage your right to have flamboyantly-named choices by any means. The whole point of this is to discuss how very right I am for the job of naming paints and fonts. I was born to this.
Imagine it. Just imagine the things I’d create. The "VampireNomad Collection" as it were.
Lab Rat Blues paint, moody royal blue
Five O’Clock Shadow paint, grizzled brown
Two-Toned Van paint, red like the stripe on the A-Team van
Warp Factor Nine paint, shimmery silver like the Enterprise viewscreen
Trace font, precise and sort of weird like Hodges
Gunshot Residue font, blotchy and sans serif
Fromage Bleu font, curvy and with a sort of visual odor
Koolaid Tongue paint, neon raspberry
Malaise font, narrow and thin and angled
If you don’t think that’s as good as anything already on offer, you’re mad. This is my true calling. Somebody figure out how to get me hired.
And now, the exciting conclusion to Paint, Font, or Pony! How close were you?
North Star paint, very pale yellow
Ivy League paint, light brownish-green
Fire and Ice paint, light purple (so both fire AND ice instead of either or?)
Secret Rendezvous paint, pinky pink
Hemlock paint, kind of a nondescript grey-green
Peau de Soie paint, beige
Fresco Urbain paint, chocolatey mauve
Sanctuary paint, very pale grey-peach
Brownstone Slab font, it has serifs
Agent Orange font, bubbly?
Primrose font, kind of hand-printed
Milk Bar font, futuristic
Shangri La font, exactly as you think it’d look
Fancy Footwork font, ugly
Jelly Belly font, like a jellybean
Charles in Charge font, if Scott Baio were a robot this would be him
Twilight Velvet Pony, grey and purple unicorn
Hoity Toity Pony, looks like Karl Lagerfeld
Flash Sentry Pony, kind of looks like a Spartan
Fancy Pants Pony, looks like a unicorn James Bond
Pumpkin Cake Pony, orange baby
Apple Cobbler Pony, branded with apple cobbler
Aloe Pony, is pink and is something called a ‘spa pony’
Davenport Pony, is brown and wears a button-down shirt
I know, right? Yes there is a font named Jelly Belly and a pony named Davenport. There is a paint named Fire and Ice that is light purple and Primrose is a font. And there are so many apple-themed Ponies, you guys. It all boggles the mind.
- Corinne Simpson