What color is the sky at San Jose Mineta? It might be ‘sky’

Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport rolled out its new branding this week, moving some words around to tout its new identity as San Jose Mineta International Airport and giving a refresh to its 30-year-old logo.

The changes are just marketing bells and whistles and don’t alter the airport’s official name — much like when San Jose introduced a new brand mark that didn’t usurp the official city logo. But the one part of the announcement Monday that made no sense to me was the list of “colors” used in the sharp new logo: midnight, dusk, dawn, sky and cloud.

They look good, but with apologies to Crayola and Pantone, those aren’t the names of colors. Sure, you can figure out midnight. But it’s hard to tell the difference between dusk and dawn sometimes. Sky? Depends on if it’s raining. And cloud? Does that mean white? Lately they’ve been gray.

A rendering of San Jose Mineta International Airport’s new logo and signage. (San Jose Mineta International Airport) 

Maybe we’re just running out of color names. Pantone’s color for 2023 is Viva Magenta, a shade that must be more lively than regular magenta, which probably feels pretty dull now.  And the colors Crayola currently offers include inch worm, fuzzy wuzzy and jazzberry jam and bittersweet.

They could have just named the airport’s new colors Delayed, On Time, Legroom, Screaming Baby and Drunk Guy in Business Class. You still wouldn’t know which color was which, but at least you’d get a laugh out of it.

One San Jose attorney I talked to, however, found the color names perfect for San Jose Mineta.

“How appropriate for a company that involves planes that land before midnight due to the noise restriction, depart into the sky and the clouds after dawn, again due to the noise restriction, and during dusk,” said the lawyer, who wished to remain anonymous to prevent their luggage from going missing on future flights. Now that’s a brilliant legal mind.

GATHER ROUND: The State of the Valley conference, the annual “town hall” organized every year by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, returns Feb. 17, and much like many other things these days, it’ll be in hybrid form. Only 350 people will be able to attend in person at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, but everyone else can log on to watch and listen online for $35.

Russell Hancock, Joint Venture’s president and CEO, will present the Silicon Valley Index — the annual checkup on how we’re doing as a region when it comes to jobs, transportation, housing and other issues — in two sessions. One will focus on the economy and the other on community. There also will be a panel discussion on where the valley’s headed economically with UC Berkeley Professor AnnaLee Saxenian and venture capitalist Somesh Dash, moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist John Markoff.

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