On Friday, April 1, I travelled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a record attempt for the largest paint swatch. The swatch, created by PPG Pittsburgh Paints, had to surpass a minimum requirement of 6 square meters (approximately 65 square feet) in order to set a new world record.
A paint swatch (a.k.a. paint chip) is a rectangular card with several different shades of paint on it that aids in selecting the perfect shade for your walls. Although helpful, paint swatches don't always provide the accuracy that one would hope (I'm thinking of one somewhat traumatic experience in particular, where the paint swatch promised that my kitchen would be a light, airy shade of canteloupe and the actual paint dried into a horribly violent marigold color).
Experiences like this are what prompted the idea of creating the world's largest paint swatch. Color interplays with many different factors, and your eye registers the exact same shade in different ways depending on the size of the object and its surroundings. Indeed, when I held up the normal-sized paint swatch to the oversized paint swatch (which was 24 times the regular size), the two shades did appear to be somewhat different even though they were the exact same hue. It was an interesting optical illusion.
Holding the regular sized swatch against the record-setting swatch
PPG very cleverly decided that in order for consumers to make informed decisions, the colors needed to be displayed in the same way that you would see them on your wall - namely, big. In addition to the paint swatch, PPG had a large portable wall on display, which will be displayed in PPG Place in Pittsburgh and will be painted with a different color every few days. PPG also gave away free paint samples which could be used to paint a 4 x 4 section of a wall - basically, a test drive for a paint color.
After I learned about the concept and the background of the attempt, the only thing left to do was to measure the swatch to confirm that it surpassed the required area. At 17 feet x 4 feet, the total area came out to 68 square feet - a new Guinness World Records achievement!
Dee Schlotter, national color brand manager for PPG Pittsburgh Paints, along with Charles E. Bunch, PPG Industries chairman and CEO
A big congratulations goes out to everyone involved in the project. Here's to a new - and colorful - world record!
PPG Pittsburgh Paint employees celebrate their new world record
PPG Pittsburgh Paints employees gather in front of a large 'living wall', which will be painted a different color every few days in order to demonstrate how various shades will look on an actual wall.
4 April 2011