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  1. #1
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    Does TB Have A Color Philosophy?

    One of the best and worst things about TB are the color choices. On the one hand, it’s great to have choices, on the other the choices can sometimes be paralyzing, or delay purchases while you wait for a particular color combo to become available (neither of which happens with most other bag makers, who only offer 1 to 3 color options). It can also be frustrating, when you fail to jump fast enough to buy something!

    I understand that (1) TB is constrained in the amount of raw materials it can keep on hand, (2) they have to specialty order and stockpile large amounts of materials well in advance, (3) they have a minimum batch count for every color combo of every bag, (4) they can’t please everyone, (5) the color choices can be limited, due to the difficult dying process for their particular materials, and (6) every choice they make as to what exterior and interior colors to make for 1 bag have to be weighed against availability of those same colors for all their other bags. It gives me a headache just thinking about it!

    All that being said, TB’s color choices, particularly in respect to combinations of exterior and interior colors, often seem odd or arbitrary, which leads me to wonder, does TB have a design philosophy when choosing their colors and color combinations? For example, why does TB pair Wasabi with Navy and Aubergine, but never with Orange or Verde, which seem like more obvious choices? Why doesn’t TB do more monochromatic pairings, like Navy with Island, or Aubergine with Dawn? And why so much pairing of Northwest Sky with colors it really does not go with, even if grey is usually considered to be neutral?

    Just as an example, I’m teetering on the edge of buying an A45, but the color choices at the moment seem much more limited than they actually are, mostly because I don’t like the interior color choices of Northwest Sky, Wasabi or Iberian, or the exterior choices of Steel or Original Halcyon, which only leaves only Black with Island. Such a 1st world problem!

    In addition to being genuinely curious about TB's color philosophy, I have 2 suggestions for TB:

    1. Mix it up a bit more. One in a while do a different combo, like Navy with Island. Don’t worry, it will sell!

    2. Please do a better job with your photographs of the different colors. I understand these materials reflect light differently, especially when being photographed. I saw that quite clearly by pointing my iphone camera at my 1st TB bag (took me years to actually buy something!) – a Mars Red TC. However, I was able to quickly adjust the angle and lighting to approximate the actual color on camera. Surely you guys can do the same!

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Greetings,
    I'm glad you posted, because I'd like to know more about how the Crew select color combinations, too.

    I don't have an answer for you, but I'd like to post a couple color combinations that do not work, if I may.

    Nordic Halcyon (sadly discontinued) does not go with Island Halcyon at all.

    Aubergine and Ultraviolet do not play well together no matter how much I want them to. I love them both, but they are the wrong tone and do not get along. I don't recall seeing this combo in the last year.

    Regarding the Northwest Sky, it's not my favorite color. However, as a liner color it's light and makes it easy to see things at the bottom of the bag. In my opinion that's important.

    Thank you for sharing! elisa

  3. #3
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    For some reason Northwest Sky hurts my eyes. But I can see it is practical and works with some colors; but with Burnt Orange?

    Someone also brought up in another thread the recent lack of red and coyote combinations. Someone at TB really likes blue and gold much better than red and gold, or maybe the blue just sells better?

    I assume the choices are based at least in part on what sells the best; e.g., a lot of people want to keep a low profile with their bags, so they buy blacks, grays and steels. However, sometimes something may sell just because that is what is being made; i.e there may be some self-fulfilling prophecy involved to some degree.

  4. #4
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    I'm curious--to what extent does Shopify provide sales analytics that can help inform the production decision?

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ayazgood View Post
    For some reason Northwest Sky hurts my eyes. But I can see it is practical and works with some colors; but with Burnt Orange?
    I was surprised to read your comment, because I really like Burnt Orange with Northwest Sky! Thanks for the reminder of how much tastes can vary. (But also I'm sorry to hear that it hurts your eyes! Ow.)
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian.

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    I was surprised to read your comment, because I really like Burnt Orange with Northwest Sky! Thanks for the reminder of how much tastes can vary. (But also I'm sorry to hear that it hurts your eyes! Ow.)
    I was trying to be polite. Another way to put it would be makes my flesh crawl (like a squeaky chalkboard), or makes me want to die of boredom! To each their own. My wife loves colors like Verde and Wasabi. I on the other hand refer to anything in those shades as puke green and puke yellow.

  7. #7
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    It would be great if we could pick outside and inside colors when ordering.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    I was surprised to read your comment, because I really like Burnt Orange with Northwest Sky! Thanks for the reminder of how much tastes can vary. (But also I'm sorry to hear that it hurts your eyes! Ow.)
    You can add me to the list of those who like Burnt Orange with Northwest Sky!

  9. #9
    Registered User swanksteak's Avatar
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    Deep Blue / Navy with Ultraviolet needs to become a regular thing

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorn View Post
    It would be great if we could pick outside and inside colors when ordering.
    That would be wonderful! However, in prior threads, TB has said that is not feasible; probably because they have to make minimum batches of particular colors, in order to make efficient use of materials and/or labor. My alternative suggestion is for TB to make a different combo now and then. They have all the constraints mentioned in my OP, but it would be great if they could still mix it up a bit more often than they currently do.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ayazgood View Post
    That would be wonderful! However, in prior threads, TB has said that is not feasible; probably because they have to make minimum batches of particular colors, in order to make efficient use of materials and/or labor. My alternative suggestion is for TB to make a different combo now and then. They have all the constraints mentioned in my OP, but it would be great if they could still mix it up a bit more often than they currently do.
    Maybe they could be 2-piece? You slip in the inside color or switch it out later if you want to mix it up, keeping the same outside.

  12. #12
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    If you search around for pictures of the Pocket Pouches, you can see a lot of "impossible" combos. I've spotted Burnt Orange/UV, Coyote/Island, and Verde/Wasabi. It gives you a good idea of how well two of those colors will play together.

    Personally, I think NWSky pretty much goes with everything. Iberian/Steel is a combo that puts my teeth on edge. Island is boring. It's all totally subjective.
    Current Everyday Carry: S19 in Cloud/Island, 15C Cache, SE in Wasabi, SC in Fjord; Cubelets in Dawn, Canyon, and Grass, COW in Original Halcyon
    Current Travel Carry: A30 in Original Halcyon/Ultraviolet, DLBP in Nordic, PCSB in Sitka, Large TT in Sitka, SSK in Wasabi, 3DOC in Solar

  13. #13
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    I LOVE Island! And I think NWS goes with everything but it looks like a special, not-obvious choice with red and orange. But I'll never get an Iberian lining because the inside red makes me think of cutting into, like, a steak and seeing raw meat inside. Ick. But I love Iberian as an exterior color, as in a stuff sack and ZTSB.

    So, yeah, totally subjective.

  14. #14
    Forum Member nessagr's Avatar
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    I got my Dawn travel cubelet when they were doing the violet lining and I love the combination! My son's Mars Red/ violet combo is more unexpected but not terrible together, but I could see how it would discourage some from buying. I was recently disappointed to see that currently they all have such a boring interior. Same with the Syniks- I was disappointed that majority of the interiors are NW Sky or Steel. I prefer a neutral exterior with a fun pop of color on the inside.

  15. #15
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    Tom has been in the Bag business since 1991 with a store in Santa Cruz, CA

    Before moving to Seattle, I think that Tom was using fabric available to everyone in the outdoor industry, then Ballistic 1050 for luggage was made with color specify to Tom Bihn Inc, then Halcyon which at the time was called Dyneema, made to order colors, then Parapack, then Heavy Halcyon like Original Nordic and Black(with white piping) and Nordic and Black with dark piping, then very recently the fabulous and so unique lightweight Ballistic colors 525 for the outside of the bags and double duty accessories/bags and Ballistic 210 for the inside of bags and lightweight accessories.

    In my haste, I forgot Aether, with its exquisite translucent quality and the Pack Cloth Exterior that is used in the First and Second Aid Kit as well as their accessories.

    I let The Crew speak for themselves: "At TOM BIHN, we are known for our colors and color combinations (what the industry calls "colorways"). Most of our fabrics are dyed to our specifications and are uniquely ours: our fabric suppliers are regularly "dipping" new swatches based on color samples we submit to them to match. Over the years, we've sent them packets of spices, flower petals, paint chips, and snippets of textiles from other industries. The majority of colors don't make it past this initial stage, but we do like to offer new choices every year. We take more chances with interior colors, though you will see new exterior fabric colors as well. We do not subscribe to any of the fashion or trend services that "predict" (and then end up dictating) next year's colors and styles: as with most other aspects of the TOM BIHN business, we do our own thing, listening to our customers a bit, and mostly following our own sense of aesthetics."

    The Quote above and many of the info that helped make my post can be found https://www.tombihn.com/pages/materials#color
    ans here https://www.tombihn.com/collections/all-organizational-bags/products/first-second-aid-pouch?variant=16487698055

    August is usually the time that most children, teens and college students go back to school.

    The Synicks will be ready before the first late autumn break, in the northern hemisphere, which is Thanksgiving in the U.S and is always eagerly awaited by first and second year college students who come back with a bag full of laundry, and a stomach ready for some home cooking.

    Coming back to school, with a versatile backpack like the Synick, can help long study days in cold libraries or, in campus benches on nice Spring days.

    It will also help conferences or, festive family events attendees having to cope with the need of cold weather clothing at the destination or at the departure point, as well as professional or fancy clothes for ceremonies and/or annual fundraising events.

    As far as TB Luggage Bags are concerned, people who took Spring or summer breaks or, are about to go on early autumn vacations, bought theirs early, in the season.


    After the first few Synick production cycles, TB Crew will get ready for the Holidays production. I am sure that they are testing some new fabulous designs and brainstorming about a delightful Holiday surprise.

    Past designs include the Pocket Pouch, the Q-Kit; surprises like Cafe Bags in Ballistic, parties at the Store aka The Mothership with customers, Ravelry gift parties for the Crew documented in pictures, pups and kitten pictures, the creation of the Donation Cranes...

    https://www.tombihn.com/collections/...nt=37819567431
    Last edited by backpack; 08-16-2019 at 10:00 PM.

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