October 26, 2023

Why Our Colors Look Different in Person Vs. Online

Why Our Colors Look Different in Person Vs. Online

Have you ever ordered a new product online and been surprised by how the colors look in person? It's a common experience, and it's particularly true when it comes to our Halcyon bags. Take our Acai Halcyon, for example. In one lighting, it might appear as a deep, dark red, while in another, it transforms into a vibrant berry purple. The question that naturally arises is, "Why do our Halcyon bags look different in person?"

To answer this question, we need to delve into the details of our 200D Halcyon fabric.

200D Halcyon is composed of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers, which exhibit varying appearances under different lighting conditions. The structure of these fibers, as well as their density and alignment, affects how they reflect and transmit light. 200D Halcyon has inherent reflective properties, and light dispersion can also make the fabric appear more vibrant in direct sunlight. Notably, its partial translucency allows subtle light penetration, particularly noticeable in bags crafted entirely from Halcyon, as opposed to instances where Halcyon serves as an interior liner. In essence, the fabric's nature contributes to the dynamic way our bags appear.

Another element at play is color theory. Our bags aren't just randomly dyed; they are custom-dyed to achieve unique tones. This process means that even slight variations in lighting can reveal subtle nuances in color. When deciding the color of each bag, we use three 'primary' colors (Red, Blue, and Green) to help develop our perfect shade. Why do we use these colors? Basically, human color vision is based on three types of color receptors in our eyes called cones. These cones are sensitive to different parts of the light spectrum: S-cones for short wavelengths (blue), M-cones for medium wavelengths (green), and L-cones for long wavelengths (red). Using red, green, and blue as primary colors aligns with these cone sensitivities and allows for an intuitive and effective way to create a wide range of colors. Let’s use Acai again as our example. Acai is made mostly of red dyes but has a unique blend of blue and green dyes incorporated to help create that unique berry color. The colors of our bags can also interact with the colors they're paired with. Acai may appear more vibrant when paired with Verde and take on a more subdued appearance when paired with Black.

In summary, many different properties come into play when it comes to the ever-changing appearance of our Halcyon fabric. So, the next time you're captivated by the shifting colors of our Halcyon bags, remember that it's not just a simple trick of the light; it's the blend of science, art, and design that makes each bag unique.


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We're the TOM BIHN crew: we design bags, make bags, ship bags, and answer questions about bags. Oh, and we collaborate on blog posts, too.