With the popularity of painted furniture soaring, we can’t help but notice the discussions on colours that arise from customers.
A particularly passionate conversation between wife and husband was about the difference (or lack of) between ‘turquoise’ and ‘teal’. The Wife pondered the possibility of painting a dresser in a teal colour whilst the Husband chipped in that yes turquoise would look quite nice. The Wife, confused declared “I said teal, not turquoise” to which the husband replied “same thing”.
After a lengthy talk describing the differences – how turquoise was an aqua middle ground between blue and green, whilst teal was between navy and emerald – the Husband concluded that Teal was practically the same colour as Turquoise, just darker. The Wife exclaimed with “well in that case Red and Pink are the same colour, Pink is just lighter – but you wouldn’t want me to say Red when I meant Pink would you?” The Husband huffed but that seemed to be the end of the matter.
The problem with uncommon colour names is not everyone agrees with the same hues for that name. Teal could mean any of the colours below:
Although according to Wikipedia Teal is a deep blue-green colour; a dark cyan (see below) often mixed up with it’s sister Teal Blue.
Experiments have shown that societies such as the Tarahumara tribe in Northern Mexico, which lack different words for “blue” and “green”, find it harder to find the odd one out in a group of greenish-blue squares. Meanwhile, the fact that we distinguish indigo and violet as separate colours is largely down to Newton, who named and split up the colours of the rainbow more subjectively than scientifically, leaving a large area between blue and green un-named.
Apparently, if our language lacks a word for something, we find it harder to think about that thing. Having less words to use to describe colours has an effect on your ability to distinguish and recall different colours.
So we’d like to know – just how well do you know your colours? Do you know your Peacock from your Emerald? Can you pick out Plum from it’s sister Aubergine? Or does your colour knowledge stop at the end of the rainbow song? It is believed that around 1 out of 255 women and 1 out of 12 men may have some degree of colour blindness.
When you consider the importance colour plays in the products we buy, our aesthetic tastes, and the design decisions we make when we decorate, it’s quite intriguing to consider that many of us may not perceive colours in the same way. Find out by testing your colour knowledge below:
The images below are some of the most common paint colours, many are officially – how many can you name?
Note your monitor display means the colours may vary, and as stated before, one name can mean different colours to many different people! Have guess at naming these web colours:
Scroll down for the colour names and see how many you correctly identified.
Could you name any? Below are the names of those specific colours taken from domain-specific naming schemes such as X11 or HTML4, however paint companies tend to differ slightly from web colours. E.g Saffron is very similar to Mustard, and Oxford Blue to Navy. Sapphire is another blue colour that looks very different depending on where you see the colour.
How did you do? Perhaps you can tell one colour from another extremely well, but you don’t use the same naming system as above. You can prove it with these two excellent colour tests:
This colour game has been designed to put your colour vision and eyesight to the test by showing boards of coloured squares (see below for example.)
On each board, one of the squares is a slightly different shade of the same colour and the aim is to find this odd square by tapping it with your finger or clicking it with the mouse.
In this addictive colour test you have 60 seconds to face through it as fast as possible before the time is up and your score will be given.
You may find you struggle with certain shades, whilst others you spot the odd one right away!
(The odd one out is on the bottom row, one left from the left hand corner.)
In this colour test a series of subtly varied colour swatches ranging between two hues is presented out of order, and it’s up to you to rearrange the swatches so that the gradient between the two colours is correct.
When you think you’ve done it you hit the finish button and your colour IQ score will be revealed.
This one is great at showing which shades of colour you struggle with most.