Which Came First — Orange the Color or Orange the Fruit?

February 24, 2016 | Joanne Kennell

Colored pencils

You will never have to worry about describing a color again!

Most of us know the difference between green and red, and purple and orange, but when asked to distinguish between the different shades of blue, for example, we may not find it so easy.

Does this mean we are color blind?  No, but possibly “hue illiterate.”  To tackle the problem with color literacy, writer and children’s book illustrator Ingrid Sundberg developed a “color thesaurus.”

Sundberg, who lives in Southern California, designed the thesaurus after working on a fantasy novel that had a “vivid art subculture,” she said to the Independent.  “I was finding that words such as 'blue' or 'red' were becoming repetitive and weren't creating the specific imagery I was hoping for.”

SEE ALSO: 10 of the Wildest Things About Color

“I decided to collect colour names so I had a resource at my fingertips at all times. I compiled colour words from as many sources as I could find: paint chips, art stories, mineral names, catalogues, novels. I quickly found myself expanding my thesaurus past clinical descriptions such as 'mauve' to colour words that were more evocative and tactile,” said Sundberg.

Admittedly, Sundberg fell in love with words that could do double duty — giving the reader more information than just a hue.

“For example, 'porcelain white' evokes stature, texture, possibly even a time period. 'Watermelon pink' makes you think of summer, sweet things, makes your mouth water. 'Chartreuse' feels sharp and bold, adds a hint of magic. My goal became to create a spectrum of words that I could endow with meaning and help add new layers to my stories.”

Sandberg noted that she is not naming colors, and that the thesaurus is just meant to help find a synonym for descriptive purposes.

Here is a tweet from Twitter member Bianca Ní Ghrógáin which shows the color thesaurus.  The chart does include well known names such as magenta and ivory, but it also includes several unique names including lemonade, peacock and raven.

Read this next: Sad People See the World Differently

Hot Topics

Facebook comments