The Dangers of the Sherwin Williams Chip-it Application

I'm getting traffic from  Apartment Therapy.

I love  Apartment Therapy.  It's a big site that I enjoy reading.  So following the rabbit trail to see why, I ended up at  this post on Apartment Therapy about using Sherwin William's Chip-it application. I was surprised to see an image I created in the post.  I made the image using Sherwin Williams Chip-it Application to analyze the colors in a vintage Ferry Seed poster.  I found the image at the New York Public Library's Digital Gallery. When I analyzed the above image it was with the idea of creating a room with the feell of the vintage poster, not to create a similar painting.  I believe the image itself is in the public domain, but the image was scanned by NYPL for their digital gallery.

DesignSeeds, one of the commenters at the Apartment Therapy post, pointed out a big problem with the Chip-It Application.  

The problem is that it is very easy to infringe on a designer or artist's work using Sherwin William's Chip It app and not attribute the original image to the creator.  And in a sense, that's exactly what happened when Apartment Therapy borrowed my image to talk about Sherwin William's application.  Because by sharing the analyzed image I shared, the link to the New York Public Library got lost.

I'm sure Sherwin Williams will say they're not responsible for what people do with their tool.   

But I think in the interest of attributing credit,  they should have the app add the URL that the picture was taken from, similar to when Pinterest pins an image.  

If you're an artist or designer, you don't want someone ripping off your color sensibility using this application. 

But the application can be used in a variety of good ways - analyzing the exact colors of an image you took, or a painting you made or an antique or public domain image, as the Ferry Seeds poster is.   It can be used for GOOD and not EVIL.  ;-)

So people, be careful when you make a pin of an image to be sure it's in the public domain. 


Trudy said...

It's important to point out, as Design Seeds does, that Chip It doesn't show you "the exact colors" of an image -- it shows you the Sherwin Williams paint colors that are closest to those in the image. That could be an important distinction, depending on what you intend to use the results for!

Anonymous said...

I think Chip it does give attribution, but maybe they added this in recently though? if you click on the image or "image source" link, it takes you back to the page or image where it was originally chipped, kinda like pinterest.

but ya, still doesn't help the color accuracy. at least it's a jumping off point though.

Dixie Redmond said...

Hi, yes, I understand that it's not the exact colors. I've chipped some pictures and OMG it's too confusing for the app - it takes a kind of average and comes up with some odd colors.

But this one above yielded some good feeling colors. I think they're more intense looking than the poster. And of course, if I'm hoping to make a room that feels like that Seed poster, then the proportions the colors are used will be very important.

Anonymous said...

I've used chip it for a while and each chipcard does link back to the original source. If you post it somewhere, it's still your responsibility to attribute it properly.

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden