Is It “Crimson” Or “Sangria”? Consult The Color Thesaurus

Anyone who has purchased a can of house paint or a bottle of nail polish knows that there is more than one way to say “red.” To keep track of the various synonyms for common colors, author and artist Ingrid Sundberg created her own Color Thesaurus.


This ingenious visualization conveniently maps shades of white, tan, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, green, brown, gray, and black, offering a plethora of creative color labels.


Keen observers will note that the Color Thesaurus is not only handy for writing, but it also provides insight on the linguistics of color. Many of the synonyms are drawn from words related to food, animals, plants, and spices, suggesting that our most powerful color associations come from the natural world. A few lucky nouns here have reached linguistic ubiquity in the world of color descriptions; for example, “olive” and “cream” are common foods that function as equally common names for colors.


Ultimately, perhaps the Color Thesaurus will make us think more deeply about our word choices on a daily basis. Rather that saying your sweater is yellow, why not try on “daffodil,” “butter,” or “tuscan sun” for size?

Find more colors on Sundberg’s website.

browngreyVia: Laughing Squid

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