Color Name Survey

I’d like your help for a color name survey!  The survey shows you colors, and you type a name (word or phrase) you might use for that color.  The names can be as broad or specific as you want.  The survey is here:

My friend Elizabeth (relsqui on #xkcd) wrote the frontend. I’m doing the analysis, though I won’t go too deeply into the details or purpose (to the extent that it has one) for now so as not to bias peoples’ answers.  Of course, RGB is a small and relative color space which varies depending on the device displaying it, so this survey has its limits, but it’s produced some cool data so far.

If any of  you want to help, you can fill out a few quick questions (don’t worry if you don’t know the answers—they’re highly optional and just help with calibration) and then come up with color names.  There’s no end to the survey; the more you answer, the better the data.  Thanks!

P.S. I’ve added a few much-requested prints and two new posters (Movie Narrative Charts and Gravity Wells) in the xkcd store.  The prints of Comic #150 (Grownups) are marked backordered right now while I replace a batch that was printed wrong, but they should be shipping again within a week.

321 thoughts on “Color Name Survey

  1. Pingback: His And Hers Colors, version 2.0 | Visual Loop

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  3. Color dictionaries are created for several purposes:
    Standardized color names facilitate specification, purchase, and use of colored goods, markers, etc.
    Companies like Pantone register colors (and names), providing formulas for inks, plastics, toners, and paints to guarantee uniformity and accuracy of color for their clients’ products. These color designations are often just numbers and letters; requiring search through process guides to find a particular shade. ICC-Profiles have provision for these spot colors.
    The combinatorial color dictionaries underlying the Munsell, OSA-UCS, and GIA color scales allow field-workers to encode and communicate color from visual observation. These systems endeavor to partition their color spaces into equally distinguishable regions with a named color at the center of each.
    A set of color names can be used to restrict selection when a spectrum of colors is not available.
    On computers, summoning colors by common names relieves the tedium of adjusting or mousing each color used.

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