select a color
September 7, 2007 5:29 AM   Subscribe

"Being a typical guy, I have no clue what the colors Lavender and Mauve look like. You can show me Indigo and I won't know if it's more like Violet or Purple. So I made this little app, Name That Color, where you can create a color on the screen (or copy-paste CSS hex# color) and find out the name of the closest matching color." Innovated by MeFite chime.
posted by nickyskye (68 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ummmmmmm
posted by DU at 5:36 AM on September 7, 2007


Typical guy? Hah! You know the difference between violet and purple. I say that if a colour wasn't in a 1972 box of 8 crayola crayons it's not a real colour. There's Blue, Black, Brown, Orange, Yellow, Red, Purple and Green.
posted by substrate at 5:38 AM on September 7, 2007 [2 favorites]


OIC, you copied the text--it isn't a post to your own thing on your own blog (or is it?). Still, not sure this really warrants alerting the internets.
posted by DU at 5:38 AM on September 7, 2007


This is a neat little tool, and it's not a self-link. Sure looks like one, though-- perhaps a mod should put the FPP text in italics or something?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:39 AM on September 7, 2007


Oh, and if I ever ordered a pizza and was served something colored #C99415, I'd send it back.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:42 AM on September 7, 2007


Quote marks would be handy, dear.

Being a typical girl, I have no clue how to change a tyre! Tee hee!

(That was all me, no italics or quote marks needed).
posted by liquorice at 5:44 AM on September 7, 2007


nickyskye, you typical guy, you!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:46 AM on September 7, 2007


lol, it was fun being a typical guy for a minute. :) Even as a typical girl, I loved the app.
posted by nickyskye at 5:51 AM on September 7, 2007


It doesn't include my favorite color, cyan... blood vendetta!
posted by Kattullus at 5:52 AM on September 7, 2007


There is a color called "Underage Pink."

I'm outta here.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:52 AM on September 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


Dark green, light blue. When I say "all the same" I mean colorblind.
posted by Mblue at 5:53 AM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Kattullus: #0FFFFD
posted by louche mustachio at 5:54 AM on September 7, 2007


Oh... never mind... there's "aqua/cyan" but no cyan. Well... is it too nerdy to mention that cyan, while also just meaning bluegreen, is also a specific shade of bluegreen? Either way, I just mentioned it.
posted by Kattullus at 5:54 AM on September 7, 2007


Kattallus, that's my favorite color too! It does have it, in a number of variations, like hex#00FFEE. The pale version #E3FBFC, Foam, is also nice.
posted by nickyskye at 6:00 AM on September 7, 2007


There's a difference between violet and purple?
posted by autodidact at 6:01 AM on September 7, 2007


Christ, what a guy.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:13 AM on September 7, 2007


Being a typical guy, I don't know the names of colors. But I do know a lot about PMS.
posted by Floydd at 6:16 AM on September 7, 2007


nickyskye, if you're a typical guy, i wanna be gay.
posted by quonsar at 6:18 AM on September 7, 2007


What the fuck is a froly?
posted by Jofus at 6:19 AM on September 7, 2007


There's a difference between violet and purple?

Well, I think the difference is that 'purple' is just blue mixed with red, while 'violet' is actual violet colored light, which triggers both blue and red cones in the eye. But if that were the case you could never 'see' violet on a computer monitor, only fake it using purple. I could be totally wrong, though.
posted by delmoi at 6:19 AM on September 7, 2007


I've always loved the names of the more obscure colors. Some new names for me: Froly; Wewak; Paarl; Barberry; Anakiwa; Zircon; Heliotrope. Also, the color "java" was much closer to turquoise than the dark brown I'd associate with it.
posted by fermezporte at 6:21 AM on September 7, 2007


Kattallus, in Wikipedia "Cyan is also called aqua", a mix of blue and green in a number of variations.

Is purple more blue and violet more pink? Purple #6E05C2 and Electric Violet #8D0AF5.

fermezporte, Like you I love the poetry of color names, especially the obscure ones.

aww quonsar, I love you. Thanks for the astonishing compliment. :)
posted by nickyskye at 6:24 AM on September 7, 2007


What's the difference between violet and purple?
#41F659
posted by MtDewd at 6:29 AM on September 7, 2007


I'd always heard that the color naming conventions were established in 1729 by Roy G. Biv, an hermaphrodite capuchin monk who sequestered himself for 27 years in the far-flung Isles of Langerhans with a fulsom prism given to him by Sir Isaac Newton.
But The Google, she gives me nothing.
posted by Floydd at 6:30 AM on September 7, 2007 [3 favorites]


Well, it fails on Firefox on a Mac, screengrab.

Otherwise, pretty cool.
posted by Dataphage at 6:36 AM on September 7, 2007


It doesn't know MeFi blue (a.k.k. THE blue). Useless.
posted by sveskemus at 6:37 AM on September 7, 2007


There's a color called "Horses Neck?" Wow. I never knew!
posted by majick at 6:38 AM on September 7, 2007


Thanks, nick--bookmarked. Still pretty subjective. If the color names are derived from real things, like cornflowers and lavender, then an image search gives pretty consistent results. But mauve is all over the map.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:38 AM on September 7, 2007


(I think it's pretty cool, actually.)
posted by sveskemus at 6:38 AM on September 7, 2007


I've got the discontinued light purple crayon called "thistle" sitting right here on my desk. 'Cause I like the name.

Once after a demo one of the clients picked it up and said to the other: "and if that didn't impress you, thistle."
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:40 AM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


But mauve is all over the map.

You can read up on it.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:45 AM on September 7, 2007


Also: Colour Lovers
posted by empath at 6:47 AM on September 7, 2007


blood vendetta!

Actually, I say it was more Claret, or perhaps Rose Bud Cherry.
posted by Sparx at 6:48 AM on September 7, 2007


Apparently one of my favourite colours is "temptress."

That seems accurate.
posted by blacklite at 6:50 AM on September 7, 2007


I'd say that MeFi seems to be #3C7BE7, which the FPP defines as "Royal Blue".

I always figured Royal Blue would be darker.
posted by Avenger at 6:56 AM on September 7, 2007


I have nothing to add here, except to say to StickyCarpet - I have that book!!! Picked it up remaindered in my local book store, just for the title. Yes, I'm weird.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 7:03 AM on September 7, 2007


MeFi blue is #006699
Closest match is Bahama Blue
posted by MtDewd at 7:09 AM on September 7, 2007


Ice, ice baby: #F4D7E5
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:23 AM on September 7, 2007


Excellent, thanks
posted by nicolin at 7:30 AM on September 7, 2007


Pharlap?

*shoots self in head*
posted by Totally Zanzibarin' Ya at 7:47 AM on September 7, 2007


Purple, Violet, Purple vs. Violet.
posted by delmoi at 8:06 AM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


It would have been nice to use the named web colors, along with the others, for reference.
posted by desjardins at 8:08 AM on September 7, 2007


LOL colours
posted by Mister_A at 9:19 AM on September 7, 2007


Porsche is peachy. -----> #EAAE69 and Persian Blue ---> #1A4AC1 Rocks!!
posted by Skygazer at 9:33 AM on September 7, 2007


Holy crap, there are books about the history of individual colors? That's straight up fantastic.

This is a great app! (Wish it were on Projects so I could vote it up!)
posted by sarahnade at 9:36 AM on September 7, 2007


fulsom prism...blues?
posted by dash_slot- at 9:59 AM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Blood vendetta is my favorite crayon to use.
posted by quin at 10:05 AM on September 7, 2007


As an artist, I find this app cute but a bit useless. "Venus," "Tuatara," and "Zydeco" are NOT color names -- they are marketing gimmicks designed to set a mood that might appeal to someone choosing paint for a room.

Pantone color names and numbers are the gold standard in visual arts. With that database plugged in rather than an obscure paint manufacturer's, it would be fantastic. But since Pantone probably doesn't give that db away for free, it's a nice effort.

By the way, you should all go to Pantone's Colorstrology site to find out what color you are. I'm Jadesheen.
posted by jfwlucy at 10:07 AM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mauvelous? Was that color really necessary?
posted by stavrogin at 10:21 AM on September 7, 2007


As someone who is (marginally) more familiar with hex codes than actual names, this is incredibly handy! Thanks!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:10 AM on September 7, 2007


Pantone color names and numbers are the gold standard in visual arts. With that database plugged in rather than an obscure paint manufacturer's, it would be fantastic. But since Pantone probably doesn't give that db away for free, it's a nice effort.
Later in the evening, I was chatted up by the Pantone CEO, a grizzled guy in a rumpled suit. He asked “Is there anything Pantone could do to make its mark on this new Internet thing?”.

The answer seemed obvious. I said “Well, color online mostly sucks, and that’s partly because computer geeks mostly totally don’t understand it. Why don’t you guys write some software that takes a Pantone number as input and really works hard, using everything it knows about your computer and operating system and monitor and video card, to come as close to that color as you’re gonna get, on-screen.”

He asked “Well, how do I make money?”

I said “Give the software away to Netscape and Microsoft (for IE). If it’s good, millions of page designs on the Net will be specced in Pantone numbers. Your upside is huge.”

He looked at me like I was completely fucking nuts. To his credit, he was polite, but it was obvious he thought I was from another planet.
posted by delmoi at 11:43 AM on September 7, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've always loved the names of the more obscure colors. Some new names for me: Froly; Wewak; Paarl; Barberry; Anakiwa; Zircon; Heliotrope. Also, the color "java" was much closer to turquoise than the dark brown I'd associate with it.
posted by fermezporte at 12:05 PM on September 7, 2007


[added quote marks, hope that's okay.]
posted by jessamyn at 12:21 PM on September 7, 2007


Of course it's ok jessamyn. :) Thanks
posted by nickyskye at 12:39 PM on September 7, 2007


I like it. Very much. Thanks!
posted by mrgrimm at 12:49 PM on September 7, 2007


fermezporte: a double post 6 hours apart? How did you do that?
posted by Ynoxas at 1:05 PM on September 7, 2007


I actually heard somewhere that you can't see [spectral] indigo, that our eyes aren't equipped for it. There was even a book about it (titled Indigo).

This seems to be totally false, though, so I'm now unsure where the idea came from.

/random
posted by Many bubbles at 1:32 PM on September 7, 2007


What the fuck is a froly?

The name of the first baby born in twenty years, unless Bazooka wins out. Or Dylan.
posted by supercres at 1:38 PM on September 7, 2007


Marvelous Pantone anecdote delmoi. Love those wonderful web history stories.

jfwlucy, chime didn't use obscure paint manufacturing names. He says, "The color names in this list were found via Wikipedia, Crayola, and Color-Name Dictionaries like Resene."

Recently I learned I could collect colors or color combos I like and keep them on del.icio.us by typing color: followed by the hex#. Like color:82e3ff,ceebce,e6ffe6,e9e9e9f3f3f3,FFFFCC,E0F6F7,EAF9F9,EFFAF7,e6ffe5,D1EDE1
posted by nickyskye at 2:23 PM on September 7, 2007


Ynoxes: better yet- it's a triple post.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:37 PM on September 7, 2007


You're gay if you can see a difference between violet and purple- or if you even care that there is.
posted by wfc123 at 2:59 PM on September 7, 2007


You're gay if you can see a difference between violet and purple

Oh, is that the trick? Oh, that's much easier than gaydar.


posted by Twang at 3:10 PM on September 7, 2007


nickyskye, Resene = obscure paint manufacturer

Wikipedia is not an expert in color. Crayola -- again with the marketing appeal in the name. Pantone = GOLD STANDARD in color designation. Period.

Great anecdote, delmoi. I can totally see it. Pantone is such a dinosaur -- but they are IT in the entire industry.
posted by jfwlucy at 3:18 PM on September 7, 2007


And a PAINT MANUFACTURER! They aren't interested in accurate color names -- they want an effect for fantasy decorating -- like you could call it pale yellow, or you can really get people's interest by calling it Apricot Dream, or Tahitian Morning, or Lexington, or Afternoon Linen, all of which are designed to establish a mood or feeling for the consumer, rather than accurately describe the paint color.
posted by jfwlucy at 3:25 PM on September 7, 2007


Resene = obscure paint manufacturer

oops! You're right jfwlucy. Thanks for correcting me.

but they are IT in the entire industry

I wonder why? How did one company come to monopolize names/color-matching/categorizing of colors? It seems like it would be something so easily created, books with colors listed.

And a PAINT MANUFACTURER!

Their business is based on pigments and color names, why not a paint manufacturer?

accurately describe the paint color

There are so many shades, it would seem impossible to have pigment word descriptions of all the variations, so variations of light cyan get labeled seafoam etc.
posted by nickyskye at 3:57 PM on September 7, 2007


you are quite right, nickyskye -- Pantone uses numbers as well as names for that very reason, but there are colors that are universally known by names that are often trademarked as well; e.g. Marlboro Red and Barbie Pink, though these are also Pantone number colors as well.

I love color names in marketing and the imagination and thought that goes into them -- in makeup, clothing, paint colors, etc. How much more thrilling to buy Russian Red than MAC1507B. I love my Anthracite sweater so much more than my plain black one. jfwlucy = romantic sucker.
posted by jfwlucy at 4:30 PM on September 7, 2007


"Venus," "Tuatara," and "Zydeco" are NOT color names -- they are marketing gimmicks

Yeah, that's what bothers me about this. It's a great concept, and I enjoyed playing with the wheel, but those fake names really got to me after a while. If you scroll down the pull-down menu of names, it's one bullshit marketing name after another. But I guess that's par for the 21st century.
posted by languagehat at 7:07 AM on September 8, 2007


Pantone owns the printing industry, but art students dream in Color-aid.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:38 AM on September 8, 2007


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