ToadShow - Creative Communications Queensland

Colourful Words

Colourful words don't always say what they mean

The Middle English word "blew" (or "blue" in modern spelling) once meant yellowish-grey. How could this be?

The truth is common words for colours have changed a lot, and are still not stable. Which makes it particularly difficult for designers, interior decorators, cat lovers, truck drivers (or anyone at all) to agree on anything to do with colour.

Anne Jones to the rescue! To make sense of the historical muddle and provide a handy reference to help achieve world peace, Anne has created a colour chart so everyone can pick and match colours, and call them by the same names. In case you think she was just making it up, she has included histories and origins of her colourful common names.

No longer will the words we use for colours provoke wildly different interpretations and fights in the family.

"Colourful Words" classifies 150 colours into 11 base colour groups: white, grey, black, yellow, orange, brown, pink, red, purple, blue and green.

Each colour has a swatch, a short description and the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) values (the four ink colours used in full-colour printing).

What's her favourite? Magenta, apparently. Magenta was one of the early synthetic colours - it was named after a battle in Italy.

Anne's doubled-sided A3 chart can be downloaded by clicking the image to the right.

No more fighting over the difference between pink and puce. Peace love and understanding instead. In colour.

Click the image above to download Anne's Colourful Words double sided A3 chart PDF.

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Australia


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