Thursday, February 11, 2010

Naming Colors


I'm intrigued with color and color combinations. I assume you would know that because of my profession of dyeing. Anthropologie has a new line of clothing that they've named "Tone on Tone" neutrals. Being a person that loves earth colors I was drawn to these neutrals: Toffee & Olive, Stone & Sand, Peach & Linen, Blush & Ivory, Smoke & Buff. It led me to contemplate color names and naming colors. Conjuring up colors without naming them red, green, blue. Boring and vague. If someone named a green coat "grass" would you envision green or would the color need to say green, "grass green"?

I'm sitting in Sweet Peas as I write this eating banana/Nutella buckwheat crepes (my reward after pilates). I wonder if I dyed some fabric and named the color "Nutella" would you know it is a chocolate brown? Of course I guess I could run into copyright/trademark issues if I were to use Nutella but it's the kind of name that would be more descriptive to me than "brown".

Are these color names more evocative to you or confusing? Do you "get" the color? I like naming things, I like that it's a luna moth colored scarf rather than pale greenish!

Color name possibilities that have made my list:

Reds: brick, russet, cardinal, chili, fire
Greens: celadon, olive, pine, luna moth, khaki drab
Blues: teal, robin's egg, indigo, ocean, gun metal, (Nina's blue)
Yellows: spicy mustard, yolk, sun, wheat
Browns: chestnut, cedar, Nutella, chocolate, raisin, coffee
Neutrals: sand, taupe, cream, linen, vanilla, sugar, smoke, charcoal, stone
Oranges: salmon, peach, melon, coral, persimmon

What color names would be on your list?

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

Sanguine noir would be my favorite color choice - blackish blood red.

Joanne Huffman said...

I still like burnt melon. I really like your idea of nature color names.

jan said...

I often think in color combinations ...
PEACOCK for those delicious irridescent blues and greens ...
SHERBET or sorbet for what I think of as "strong" pastels (i.e. pistachio, lime, raspberry, tangerine) ...
FOREST FLOOR for those decomposing browns and mossy greens ...
CARNIVAL for a myriad array of sparkling colors ...
and so the list goes.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is fun! This will be inspiring. When trying to describe something I list for sale on the internet, I always wish I could use more descriptive color words.
~Annie