A serendipitous discovery opened the door to the synthesis of isomerically pure, substituted perylenes, and points the way to production of new dyes for organic solar cells. The new perylene derivatives were later demonstrated to be able photoelectron donors, which they must be to convert sunlight into electricity! During the synthetic efforts a hypothesis – vector alignment - was developed to fill an unmet need: how to rationally design intensely colored organic compounds. Presently there does not seem to be any such set of guidelines. If the hypothesis proves itself it will pave the way for better dyes: for organic solar cells, photodynamic therapy, pigments or other applications in which efficient light absorption is important.