Have you seen the phrase “low volume” used lately in the quilt world? I have, in many places, and it’s confused me to no end. How is it that we quilters have come up with a term that has almost no application outside our little quilty planet? Why do people say low volume when they really mean soft color or tint or pale or faded or neutrals (which is usually what it stands in for). Yeah, yeah, yeah, I thought, until I saw this in the New York Times this weekend:
Check out that phrase: “low-volume white and gray.” So I did a Google search on “low-volume” and color and got lots of info on printers printing jobs that were low in page numbers. Then a bunch of references to hair coloring and beauticians, then a smattering of entries where bloggers have used this term in their blog posts.
Both of these images are from the NYTimes write-up about Blues for Smoke, a newly opened art exhibit, taking its inspiration from the Blues (the music, not the color, although there does appear to be some riffing on the latter).
But where in heavens name does the term “low volume” come from? If you do a search on “low volume” in Google images, quilts predominate. But in the rest of the Google universe, it refers to sound, or how many pages your printer can turn out, or stocks you have traded. I turned to my trusty Colorworks books, esp. the one on pastels to see what terms Dale Russell uses.
He doesn’t use the words low volume in references to those lightened colors. He uses the more common “tint,” which is a color that has had white added to it, lightening it from the pure hue. (And on the opposite scale, a shade has black added to it, darkening it.)
So, if you use the term low volume, where did you get it from? Does it come from industry? The art world (like my example above)? Graphic arts and design?
Or is it peculiar to quilters?