How We Developed our 2024 New Color: "Carroll Blue"

Posted Apr 24, 2024

Behind The Gear

How We Developed our 2024 New Color: "Carroll Blue"

We are always working to develop new guitar colors here at PRS, but once a color has been created, tested, and selected to join our lineup... we have to give it a name. Oftentimes a color is named at face value to clearly describe it, like "Black Gold Burst," or "Gold Top." However, we also have a tradition at PRS of naming colors after employees - you may be familiar with "Eriza Verde" or "Trampas Green."

At the start of 2024 we introduced a new color, "Carroll Blue," named after PRS Base Coat Manager Mark Carroll. We sat down with Mark and asked him about the process of creating this new blue stain, and how it came to bear his name!

What was the R&D process like, how do new colors get selected?

Mark: Every year around mid-Spring the stain team and I will do a bunch of color samples for potential new colors, there's various color shades we look at. We then have a meeting with several other members at PRS, including the sales team, and collectively select a handful of colors that we think are the best. At that point we run a "test batch" of guitars to work out any bugs and make sure the colors are production-friendly. Carroll Blue ended up being one of the test colors chosen. After running the colors through the line, Carroll Blue ended up being a winner. It was exciting to know that it would be an option for the public in 2024.

Was there any specific inspiration for this color?

    Mark: Coming out of the pandemic, we were having trouble getting certain materials and dyes. Raw materials were harder for our suppliers to get and some of the dyes were discontinued. There was a few of our blue colors that were affected by this, so with that in mind I decided to add some blue samples in last year’s batch.

    What was your reaction when you heard it was named after you?

      Mark: It certainly wasn’t something I expected. I thought it was super cool for the color to be named after me. I've been an employee at PRS for 18 years now and have developed a lot of stain options - but it's the first time I've had a color with my name, definitely a proud moment.

      We spoke to Jim Cullen, PRS Director of Sales, to ask him how he decided that this was the right color to name after Mark:

      “We have a history at PRS of honoring individuals that come up with new colors. This time, Mark Carroll brought me a new vibrant blue color. It was literally love at first sight, so I asked him what it was called. He wasn't sure, so I said, 'I think it’s called Carroll Blue.' We both smiled and we walked away happy with that, because it was just the right thing to do.”

      What other colors have you helped develop in the past few years? Any favorites?

        Mark: Most recently Black Amber and Lake Blue on the S2 line, as well as Jade Wraparound Smokeburst and Waring Wraparound Burst for the DW CE 24 "Floyd" models. I have also helped with revamping some of the older colors over the years.

        We have so many excellent colors its hard to pick a favorite, but I’ve always liked Jade and Copperhead. For my most recent employee guitar I ended up getting Rainforest Glow.

        What sets "Carroll Blue" apart from other blues in our color lineup?

          Mark: We have several blues in our lineup, all of which are excellent colors, but Carroll Blue is a very bright, light blue color with a lot of pop to it! If you put it in a side-by-side with our other blues, it would definitely stand out.