Friday, September 25, 2015

Colors That Rock: The Top 10 Rock Bands with Color in Their Name - Part II

Welcome back as we continue our countdown of the top 10 rock bands with color in their name. Last time, we looked at number 10 through number 6, and in this edition, we now count down the top 5.
A punk rock group formed in 1986, these rockers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 in their first year of eligibility. They’ve sold more than 75 million albums around the world. The California band’s two founders, Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt, played in a band called Sweet Children from the time they were 14-year-olds and by 1986 they recorded their first EP. To avoid confusion with another similarly named group, they changed their name to Green Day, allegedly because of their partiality to marijuana. They’ve released 11 albums over the years, 7 of which are certified platinum.

The only ensemble in our list to use an umlaut in their name was formed in 1967 in New York under the name Soft White Underbelly. After some other temporary names, they settled on BÖC in 1971. It was derived from a poem by their manager, Sandy Pearlman, who referred to the Blue Oyster Cult as a group of aliens who had assembled to secretly guide Earth's history. The origin of the umlaut is debated, but it set a precedent that was followed by Motörhead, Mötley Crüe and Queensrÿche among others. The heavy metal act has produced 13 studio albums and is known for their hits “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” “Godzilla” and “Burning for You.” And, you guessed it, they remain a touring act to this day.

The English hard rock group has twice been nominated for the Rock Hall, but has not achieved the distinction to date. As a predecessor of modern heavy metal music, they formed in 1968 and were at the height of their powers during the 1970s. Hailed for their concert volume, they made the Guiness Book of World Records as “the globe’s loudest band.” Fueled by hits like “Smoke on the Water,” “Hush,” Highway Star,” and “Woman from Tokyo,” Deep Purple took a hiatus from 1976-1984 but endure, touring in 2015 and, presumably, beyond.

As another heavy metal pioneer, Black Sabbath has enjoyed an immensely successful career, culminating in their 2006 induction into the Rock Hall. Along with Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, they are credited as being one of the “unholy” trinity of heavy metal music in the 1970s. They’ve toured widely with a variety of different lineups, triggered at least in part by lead singer Ozzie Osbourne’s battles with drugs and alcohol. The band’s name, so often associated with the occult, came about as a result of the band playing a show across the street from a movie theater that was showing the horror film Black Sabbath starring Boris Karloff. The band is ranked number 85 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

1.       Pink Floyd
This seminal group of architecture students in London began their career under names such as Sigma 6 and The Tea Set. They played at universities and clubs and attracted a strong underground following. The group’s initial lead singer and frontman, Syd Barrett, came up with their eventual name and it has less to do with color than you might think.  The name was a hybrid of two American bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. The history of the band can be broken into three eras: one with the enigmatic Barrett as the lead, one with composer and bassist Roger Waters in command, and at the end of the band’s career when they were led by sublime guitarist David Gilmour. Inducted into the Rock Hall in 1996, this band’s gargantuan, laser-tinged, psychedelic stadium shows became the standard by which all other concerts will be judged. Last playing together for three songs at the Live 8 concert in 2005, a true reunion is not possible with the deaths of Barrett (2006) and Richard Wright (2008). Nonetheless, they released an album,The Endless River, consisting of mostly instrumental songs in 2014, culled from recordings made during the band’s last album, The Division Bell, in 1994.

So there you have it, for better or for worse. Do you have other color-named bands you think deserve recognition? Do you disagree with the order in which we’ve ranked them? Leave us a comment to continue the conversation.

Scott Blanchard
Corporate Marketing & Communications Manager

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Four Elements of Color

Color is everywhere. Life is full of an endless amount of reds, yellows, blues, and more, but it takes a couple of factors for you to perceive everything.

Color is the physical modification of light by an object. When we observe an item, our brain interprets how light interacts with it, resulting in the various colors we see. When it comes to exactly why we see what we see, there are four elements that impact how we interpret color:
    There’s more than color than what meets the eye, which is why Americhem thoroughly tests every custom color masterbatch.
  • Light
  • Object
  • Human eye (observer)
  • Human brain

Why You See Color

Each one of the four elements plays a part in what you see. Essentially, light will hit an object, which in turn interacts with the light. The way a material reflects, diffuses, absorbs, and transmits light is what gives it its appearance. Even if an object uses the same pigment, the way it reflects light can lead to two completely different colors.

When we look at the interaction of light and an object, our eyes have to perceive the color. The light-sensitive cells in our eyes – rods and cones – respond to wavelengths to start perceiving what we see. After all of that, our brain begins to process all of this information.

Controlling Color Through Americhem

Developing a custom color masterbatch takes more than just a formula; it requires that we understand all of the elements that can impact the colors you see. For more than 70 years, we’ve been developing innovative color solutions and additives, producing consistent results that are catered to our client’s needs.

We thoroughly test our custom masterbatches to ensure that each of the four elements that impact color are addressed, providing you with a product that looks great and meets any additional specifications. Give us a call at 1-800-228-3476 or contact us online today to see the benefits of working with a company that truly understands how color works for yourself.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Colors That Rock: The Top 10 Rock Bands with Color in Their Name - Part I

As a manufacturer of color used in plastics and synthetic fibers, Americhem helps add brand and identity to a variety of products across many industries. So often, color is the item that consumers most identify with a product, service, logo or brand identity.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
In a similar way, some of the greatest bands in rock ‘n’ roll history have chosen names that prominently feature color. In all of these cases, it doesn’t matter if the color is featured in their instruments, their album covers, their outfits or the videos showing on their gigantic screens. Color is forever a part of their identity.

It is with this in mind that we rank the top 10 rock bands with color in their name. You may notice a bias towards classic rockers, due mainly to your blogger’s advanced age. Several of these bands have brought their colorful identity all the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We’ll count them down from number 10 to number 6 in this post, followed by number 5 through number 1 in a post later this week. So let’s take a look.

This country/rock outfit emerged from the psychedelic era of 1969 San Francisco and performed with many like-minded bands in that scene. In fact, several members of the Grateful Dead performed with the band during their infancy, including Jerry Garcia, who contributed the distinctive pedal steel guitar sound so closely associated with folk and country rock. The band tours to this day despite the deaths of NRPS stalwarts John “Marmaduke” Dawson, Spencer Dryden and Allen Kemp.

As the only female act on our list, the Indigo Girls rose to fame in the late ‘80s. Amy Ray and Emily Sailers, having met each other in elementary school in Georgia, first started performing together in high school. After the pair returned to Georgia homesick from their experiences at two different out of state colleges, they were looking through a dictionary trying to find a cool name and “indigo” was a word that struck them. They toured extensively and released 14 studio albums, including 2015’s “One Lost Day.” Known as much for their activism as their music, the Indigo Girls have toured with several versions of their own backing band as well as their familiar work as a duo.

A local entry (we’re headquartered near Akron, Ohio), this garage rock band led by Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney was formed in 2001, when they self-produced their records by recording in basements and garages, hence their classifaction as a “garage band.” Heavily influenced by the blues, they began having their albums professionally produced in 2008. Touring widely to support their act, they have relied on touring musicians to back their blues-rock sound. The group’s biggest success was its 2010 album Brothers from which they won three Grammys.

These Dutch rockers still perform today, having been founded in 1961. Lead vocalist and guitar
player George Kooymens and keyboardist/bassist Rinus Gerritsen remain with the band since the beginning, while Barry Hay and Cesar Zuiderwijk joined in 1967 and 1970 respectively. Most known for their monster 1973 hit “Radar Love,” Golden Earring also charted in 1982 with “Twilight Zone.” By far one of the most popular Dutch acts ever, they’ve notched 30 top 10 singles on the Dutch charts during their 54 years in the business.

The first appearance on our list of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band, the Chili Peppers were
inducted in 2012. Originally formed in 1983 in Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, their funk rock stylings were also influenced by punk and alternative rock. Funk icon George Clinton even produced their second album. The band faced a serious crisis in 1988 when founding member Hillel Slovak died from a drug addiction, causing bandmate Jack Irons to quit the band. The group forged on with a new lineup, which evolved through the years and they continue performing (do you notice a theme here) as an active band today, even appearing during the Super Bowl XLVIII (2014) halftime performance. They’ve won 6 Grammy Awards and have received countless nominations for various music industry awards.

Be sure to log back onto our blog soon when we’ll count down from number 5 all the way to number 1.

Scott Blanchard
Corporate Marketing & Communications Manager

Friday, September 18, 2015

Exceed Your Scratch Resistance Specifications

Nobody wants to walk up to their car and discover a new scratch. Your car’s aesthetic appeal is important, and having to sit down in the driver seat just to see various nicks and marks in the dashboard each morning is a surefire way to kick start a bad day.
Americhem’s scratch and mar prevention additives can benefit the automotive and other industires.
Occasional scratches don’t have to always be a reality, however. Americhem provides custom color masterbatches with scratch and mar prevention additives in order to keep you products safe from harm.

The Masterbatch Scratch Solution

At Americhem, we have more than 70 years of experience creating innovative masterbatch solutions, and that includes developing scratch-resistant additives for your plastic products. We work with original equipment manufacturers to provide a custom solution to suit their needs. Even if a customer uses a resin that contains some scratch and mar protection, we can engineer a solution that will work seamlessly with it, providing the best protection available.

Americhem can put your products through rigorous testing in order to ensure excellence,
which includes a: 
  • Five-finger scratch test
  • Variable-force, variable-speed Erichsen scratch test

Scratch Prevention Additives Outside of the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry isn’t the only market that can take advantage of scratch and mar additives. Ultimately, you want your products to look good, and preventing scratches can keep the aesthetic appeal. We are also exploring other industries for scratch resistance, including composite decking so that your faux wood always looks good.

Preventing Scratches with Americhem.

When it comes to scratches, it’s all about prevention. Our masterbatch and additive solutions can help your products stay safe and looking good for a long time. 

Give us a call at 1-800-228-3476 or contact us online today to learn more about how Americhem’s custom color masterbatch technologies can keep your products safe.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Color of the Month: Yellow

Being the lightest hue of the spectrum, yellow is uplifting and illuminating. A simple color that offers hope, cheerfulness and fun.

Yellow is the best color to create enthusiasm for life and can awaken greater confidence with optimism. It’s the color of happiness, enlightenment and creativity. The sentiment behind yellow is based on where it is found in nature, in the natural world yellow is the color of sunflowers and daffodils.
Global Meanings of Yellow*
  • In almost every culture yellow represents sunshine, happiness, and warmth.
  • The human eye processes yellow first. This explains why it is used for cautionary signs and emergency rescue vehicles. 

Unique Meanings of Yellow in Different Cultures*
  • In Japan, yellow often represents courage.**
  • The ancient Mayans associated the color yellow with the direction South.

Brighten the lives of your customers, let Americhem create your yellow today.