The Color Thesaurus

Compiled Color Thesaurus Long Horizontal

Update: Hey everyone! Thank you so much for your support of my color thesaurus. I’ve gotten tons of wonderful emails from writers, designers, and educators who all love the thesaurus and want one in their own home. After so many requests, I’m excited to announce I’m currently working on a poster version of the color thesaurus. Woot! Woot!

If you’d like to be updated on when the poster is available please sign up here:

Ingrid’s Totally Awesome Color Thesaurus Group

Original Post:

I love to collect words. Making word lists can help to find the voice of my story, dig into the emotion of a scene, or create variety.

One of my on-going word collections is of colors. I love to stop in the paint section of a hardware store and find new names for red or white or yellow.  Having a variety of color names at my fingertips helps me to create specificity in my writing. I can paint a more evocative image in my reader’s mind if I describe a character’s hair as the color of rust or carrot-squash, rather than red.

So for fun, I created this color thesaurus for your reference. Of course, there are plenty more color names  in the world, so, this is just to get you started.

Fill your stories with a rainbow of images!






Revised Pink_Color Thesaurus







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289 responses to “The Color Thesaurus”

  1. Ingrid, this is so funny. Last week on my blog I wrote about how I keep a copy of the Farrow & Ball colour chart near my desk because I love the names it gives the colours! Off to share.

    • Shelley says:

      I’m so happy to have stumbled across this website. It will go perfectly with my teaching units for Multi-Cultural week, Civil Rights Movement, Art, Writing, and especially how we treat people of color; what is black? Wow! Look at all the shades. What is white? Wow! Look at all the shades? Aren’t we all just one shade or another? I’m so excited to get started.

      Thanks so much. This fits beautifully.

      • Ingrid Sundberg says:

        Wow! I’m so glad this is helpful for your project. I’d love to hear how it turns out. 🙂

      • Karen Taghi Zoghi says:

        I was delighted to hear that someone else questions the use of the word “color” to refer to people. I have long questioned this. Even back when I was a child, and my grandfather said something about a “colored” person, I asked him, “What color was he, Pappap?” I don’t recall if he replied, but he did look at me kind of funny!

        • Muddy says:

          My earliest memory of hearing the use of “colored” in reference to people was before I started to school, riding in the car with my mom (now 89). We passed by a church and I asked her why we never went to *that* church. She told me it was a *colored church*. When I asked what that was,she said, “A church where colored people go.” I wondered even more why we never went there, because then I had this magical vision of people of every hue in the rainbow crowding the floor of this little church. Pretty cool…

    • Rachel McGahon says:

      Fantastic Ingrid! I love this! I am just about to sit down & write a piece on the theory of colour for a cert IV in design. Very inspiring & perfect timing.

  2. This comes at the perfect moment. Thank you.

  3. Peter says:

    Wow! Thanks!

  4. Cassie says:

    Thanks! So fun to have this 🙂

  5. skvanzandt says:

    Wow, Ingrid! This is great!!

  6. Tyrean says:

    Thank you, Ingrid!!! I needed this for the poetry I’ve been writing lately.

  7. artrosch says:

    Ingrid, you are an endless fount of inspiration. Thank you for this wonderful tool.

  8. I’m glad you all are finding this helpful! 🙂 It was fun to make. And I know I’ll be using it over and over and over!

  9. This is fantastic. Saving, sharing, adoring.

  10. Ellar Cooper says:

    Oh, this is fun. My only complaint is that you don’t have Lincoln green. 😉

  11. @TheRealGaladriel says:

    What about Lothlórien Green?

  12. Terri White says:

    I love how it’s so visual as well as literary…

  13. Anna J. Boll says:

    Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. I wonder when referring to banana yellow, is it the peel or the flesh?

  15. interopia says:

    Wow this is very helpful and I think I will refer back to this. It reminds me of something I wrote called Kingdoms. Maybe you’d like to check it out. I think you’ll see the connection soon enough! :))

  16. a3lalala says:

    Reblogged this on a3lalala and commented:
    The colours names!!!

  17. Arctic might be better if changed to Cyan.

    • Yes, cyan would also work for that color. But arctic could be a more evocative word, depending on the context of the sentence and story. The point of this color thesaurus wasn’t to 100% match the word with the color, so much as explore different evocative and sensual word choices that push past one’s first word choice of blue.

  18. Perfect! hope you don’t mind if I reblog.

  19. Reblogged this on Journey Taker and commented:
    Perfect inspiration for writing about color!

  20. Lynne Hand says:


    Although I like the idea of merigold – merry and gold. 🙂

  21. Hello Ingrid!

    I just love this! I am a Makeup Artist obsessed with Color Theory, so this just lit my fire!

    Thank you so much. I shared it in Social Media with links to your blog. 🙂

  22. taylorwr says:

    Imma leave a comment here so I can come back and look at this whenever I want.

  23. Mateusz Wolańczyk says:

    There are two colors named “Sangria”: one in the red group and the second one in the purple group.

  24. Eupraxsophy says:

    Reblogged this on Sarvodaya and commented:
    The nuances of color are as fascinating as they are practical. Whether you’re an artist, writer, or just someone who enjoys word collecting, this is great to have on hand.

  25. I appreciation for word list also. I have large notebooks filled with them. Thank you for sharing your color list. It will come in very handy.

    You have my favorite color in your hair, purple. I think people look outstandingly with unusual hair colors. Don’t change it because it makes you look unique.

  26. LMD says:

    So useful, thank you 🙂

  27. Becky Keeling says:

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing these. These would be excellent printed and hung on the wall besides my story board. I thank you, and my readers thank you. 😉

  28. […] instance, Ingrid Sundberg’s Color Thesaurus rolled across my desktop via various social media outlets in the last week or so. It has the […]

  29. Just saw this – thanks! It will certainly help me name colours of my hand dyed yarns, when writing descriptions for Etsy! .

  30. Holly says:

    Wow! I love this list! Thank you for putting that together.

  31. David Sacré says:

    Very helpful for us RPG dungeon masters. Ease the descriptions!
    THanks a lot!

  32. marjma2014 says:

    This is great thanks for sharing. 🙂

  33. This is fantastic! Kids often don’t know what a color word means, so this would be great to help them use color words more precisely in their writing. The only one that threw me was sapphire, which is my birthstone. I always associated it with a deep, cool blue instead of the more tealish color on the chart.

    Thanks again for a great resource. Pinning for sure!

  34. I think I drooled a little.

  35. Carla says:

    I love love love the names of those colours. What a great resource!

  36. […] The Color Thesaurus. This reminded me of this colorscope. And it’s just […]

  37. […] 19 different words for yellow? This page not only gives you the words, but it shows you the colours. Another great description […]

  38. De Schamphelaere Vincent says:

    Keep on the fine work

  39. […] info: | | Facebook (h/t: […]

  40. Sandra says:

    Oh, wow, these charts are incredibly helpful. I prefer writing in English, but it is not my native language … So even though my vocabulary has grown leaps and bounds since I started writing in English, every now and then I struggle a little when it comes to descriptions. Thank you so much for creating and sharing these!

  41. therchives says:

    This is very helpful. Thanks Xx

  42. - says:

    Fantastic work, Ingrid. Thank you. Hope you don’t mind me copying it over here

  43. carolchalker says:

    Thank you very much for this, our daughter has difficulties with imagery – this will definitely be a joy for her to learn that she can always place a name to a color and bank it into her memory.

  44. This is wonderful, Ingrid! I have shared it on Facebook and would like to use it on my blog (with proper attribution, of course). If you want to check it out before you give your permission, it is at http://www/ I think I will use this many times.

  45. Ingrid, just discovered this and appreciate this information. I have posted it on my Pinterest Home Staging board ( and on Google+. Thanks for writing about this and creating this information. Eileen

  46. […] green and brown, and women (see how overgeneralized this argument is?) know so many more as in this – then there’s also this… Wouldn’t it be stupid to ask for some easier (to […]

  47. Lara Koplin says:

    Where can I get one? A book or a poster?

  48. emmyjaymakes says:

    Was just pointed to this and …. Wow! I was compelled to look for one of my favorite colors since I was a kid — and there it was. Magenta, the word, on Magenta the color, not on some other bright pinky red that is *not* the color I love.

  49. John Johnson says:

    Interestingly, HTML often uses different colors for these words.

    • John! I love this link. Thank you for sharing more great color names. An naming is always subjective. Plus we all see color differently due to our color acuity. So what I see as pink, you might see a peach. But I adore this link!

  50. Erik Scarcia says:

    Hi Ingrid, Brilliant work! Do you actually have the RGB-values of the colours you named?

  51. Anna Dobritt says:

    This is excellent! 😀

  52. […] If you are interested in expanding your color vocabulary, view Sundberg’s entire color thesaurus here. […]

  53. Reblogged this on Monsterland and commented:
    Dear all
    I am sharing a Color Thesaurus. It could be useful.

  54. Michael says:

    Great work with very sensitive literacy sens.

    Maybe you know one of your illustre predecessor ? =>

  55. Alice says:

    Lovely. I disagreed with some of the names. But lovely anyway. I’m guessing no two people who really love colour would totally agree on what each could be called.
    Black was interesting because I could only differentiate a few of them. And I thought this must be how men perceive colours…

  56. Reblogged this on thedigitaltext and commented:
    a colour chart for our TEI exploration of J. Alfred Prufrock

  57. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Color is important to a physical description, but here’s a few suggestions that go beyond Roy G. Biv to provide for a particular hue with a single word.

  58. David Wang says:

    This is great! Thanks for sharing this. I can see myself coming back to this resource often 🙂

  59. elgatonegro34 says:

    Hi Ingrid, this is really useful, thank you! I’ve shared this on my blog and credited the images to you.

  60. […] Artist and writer Ingrid Sundberg created a ‘Colour Thesaurus’, a palette with its corresponding names written on it. A super helpful tool for me this week, thus! Thank you Ingrid! For people like me who are obsessed with orderliness and perfection: feast your eyes at this link. […]

  61. […] Writer Ingrid Sundbery has put together a colour-theasaurus of descriptive words for countless hues. It’s fun going through her list and seeing which […]

  62. toinks says:

    Shared the link with some people I thought would like it as much as I did.
    Thanks much.

  63. Arielle says:

    I love this! I’m an artist whose work primarily deals with color. Have you thought about turning this concept into a poster? If you make a poster, please let me know. I’d likely buy one to put in a child’s room. Nice concept!

  64. […] LOVE learning different names for colours, and this blog has some pretty awesome […]

  65. Allison says:

    I have a five year old who wants to become a “book writer” and is in love with her thesaurus. I am going to print these off so she can save them to memory. Cheers!

  66. Reblogged this on Kicking the Pants and commented:
    Here’s a handy little thing!

  67. Helen Savore says:

    Just discovered this. Thank you so much for this resource! I’ve stared too long at colors from google images trying to figure out names of shades… this is so much simpler, and evocative.

  68. Valerie says:

    Yay, I was thinking about making something like this to help me in my blogging; you saved me a ton of work! Thanks, and keep it up!

  69. Az Kaha Ze says:

    Thank you! It’s useful, and playful and I love the names you’ve chosen.

  70. Love this so much, Ingrid! Thank you.

  71. Reblogged this on Further Annotations and commented:

  72. […] all started after stumbling upon a useful material published by, writer and illustrator, Ingrid Sundberg. Why is that article useful? Firstly […]

  73. applestreet says:

    WOW – special to me!! I LOVE Colours!! THANKS a lot!!

  74. […] So she created this color thesaurus. Here is a snippit. Read her blog […]

  75. Wendy Wahman says:

    Love this!

  76. This is great – what a helpful tool for writers! I’ve bookmarked it and shared the link on my book blog. Well done!

  77. Jessica says:

    Thanks!This is great!

  78. […] To learn more about Ingrid Sundberg, check out her website below: Ingrid's Notes […]

  79. ghostwrites says:

    thank you! bookmarking this page.

  80. Karen says:

    I would absolutely LOVE to purchase this in book-form!

  81. lauracbrown says:

    I love this! It’s so satisfying on a design level & a word level. I just tweeted the link from hipstr news.

  82. […] To learn more about Ingrid Sundberg, check out her website below: Ingrid’s Notes […]

  83. Reblogged this on openmindamerica and commented:
    Writers paint with words. Here are all the colors in words. Terrific!

  84. monkeydust12 says:

    Why thank you Ingrid, this helped me loads when completing my English Essay!

  85. louisecusack says:

    Reblogged this on Writers: Working with Louise Cusack and commented:
    This Color Thesaurus is a fabulous resource for writers. I was inspired with fantasy ideas just looking at it!

  86. MT says:

    no turquoise? showed my daughter and her favorite color missing!

  87. Pure genius, Ingrid! Thank you so much for this handy tool.

  88. […] Check out Ingrid’s blog over here.  She’s got lots of great tips on writing and the publishing industry. […]

  89. […] fall, here’s a snippet of a Color Thesaurus by Ingrid Sundbird. You can see the whole thing here. It goes from white to black and all the colors in between, really quite […]

  90. […] to a list – Compare colors to lists like Named Web Colors, Crayola, or Ingrid's Color Thesaurus and look for […]

  91. xaraxia says:

    Why is Jade an off-black when it’s more mid-green in tone? (Google ‘jade’ and you’ll see right away what I mean)

    • Hi Xaraxia,

      Jade is a stone that comes in many colors (yes, green is the most prominent). But it also comes in black, white, blue, purple, and red as well. You’re right, most people will associate jade with green. However, my personal association with jade is a black color (and this is a subjective color thesaurus). I used to love looking at the ancient Chinese sculptures made of black jade at the museum near the art school I went to.

  92. This is amaaaaazing! Officially part of my reference library!! Seriously, such a creative idea, beautifully executed.

  93. […] record is in this magickal place here, but I’ve attached the thesaurus in this post so you can witness what’s been floating […]

  94. Tracy says:

    lately, i have been falling in love with color. so, this is super cool resource 🙂 thanks so much!

  95. […] to designate a color. Beyond the primary colors, everyone seems to have a different name for their favorite colors. RGB and hexadecimal formats are equivalent. The three RGB values each range from 0 to 255. Those […]

  96. Reblogged this on Evelyn Isaacks and commented:
    This is such a lovely thesaurus of color! It makes me think of other ways to express these colors too. So helpful!

  97. […] development. Writing descriptively can really enhance a story, as Ingrid Sundberg explains on her blog, “I can paint a more evocative image in my reader’s mind if I describe a character’s hair […]

  98. […] Anyone who has purchased a can of house paint or a bottle of nail polish knows that there is more than one way to say “red.” To keep track of the various synonyms for common colors, author and artist Ingrid Sundberg created her own Color Thesaurus. […]

  99. E says:

    Thank you for sharing! This is great! Just a heads-up, though – “parmesan” is misspelled as “parmesean.”

  100. […] Ingrid Sundberg must be of a similar persuasion: she shared a gorgeous project on her blog where she collected and organized all the various colors within a color. It’s […]

  101. […] « Color Thesaurus » réalisé par Ingrid Sundberg, auteur passionnée par les mots qui a décidé de collecter dans un nuancier les véritables noms […]

  102. Just put a link to this on my blog – brilliant for communicating colour ideas!

  103. Ember Leigh says:

    Ahhh! This is the exact thing I never realized I always needed! Game changer…thank you!!

  104. […] a reward for making it to the end of a post I wrote while watching football, here’s a color thesaurus courtesy of Ingrid Sundberg to help you correctly name any color […]

  105. alrharris says:

    Reblogged this on Pen Paper and IT and commented:
    Great idea

  106. ramona says:

    Your thesaurus is a work of art in itself.

  107. Junior says:

    Thanks a lot. Here, in Brazil, we use so many expressions for colors that sometimes we forget their official names.

  108. Beatrice says:

    Hello, thank you for sharing. I took the liberty of linking to this post on a French quilters forum (we love colours too!). I hope you don’t mind. If you do, let me know and I’l remove it. Beatrice.

  109. SC says:

    Hello, Ingrid!

    I found this post after it was suggested to me by a friend when I confessed to having some difficulty with my color-themed naming scheme for a certain story I’m working on, and I find it write helpful for me. I’ve even bookmarked it for any future color problems I may have!

    I noticed, though, that there was a color missing from either the red or purple charts (really, it could fit into either).

    Therefore, if it doesn’t trouble you, I believe I’ve got a color that you may or may not know for if you update this list in the future:

    Carmine, a shade of dark red with purple undertones typically used to describe the color of blood.

    I used carmine as the family name of a protagonist of mine who hails from royal lineage, because I thought it worked really well in that regard.

    So, there you go. Provide some useful info for me, and I give (maybe) useful info back in return.

    Thanks, and best regards,

  110. A post as colourful as it is helpful! Thank you.

  111. This is lovely and so tremendously helpful…but isn’t jade a shade of green (not black)? Ex: Jade dragons, pendants, etc.?

  112. […] chart collection that contains different shades of colors with specific names which she called The Color Thesaurus. This color reference helps her to add specificity to her writing and paint a more evocative image […]

  113. […] chart collection that contains different shades of colors with specific names which she called The Color Thesaurus. This color reference helps her to add specificity to her writing and paint a more evocative image […]

  114. wannchon says:

    Reblogged this on wannchon and commented:

  115. Cass says:

    Thank you! This is so helpful!

  116. […] and children’s book illustrator Ingrid Sundberg combined a small color thesaurus to assistance we name any tone imaginable. From pearl and ivory to glow and fuchsia, we can now […]

  117. Someone just shared this on Twitter – and I LOVE it! Thank you for going through the time and effort to make this gem. 🙂 *bookmarks*

  118. Thank you so much for creating this! I have felt self-conscious about not knowing the differences between some of these my entire life. You are freeing the straight male! 🙂

  119. lahcen says:

    very beautiful and helpful charts which reminded me The Mysterious Power of Red Color that I hope you will find very interesting 🙂 Colors Indeed are fascinating elements of human behavior.

  120. Reblogged this on "Poetry Soul Closet" and commented:
    The Color Thesaurus – Ingrid Sundberg

  121. Henry Ong says:

    very grateful … God bless you,

  122. Reblogged this on Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog and commented:
    Found this recently while I was looking for websites and articles about describing colors – and I knew I had to share it ! I hope other writers out there find this as helpful and creatively stimulating as I did. 🙂

  123. I can’t describe in words how awesome this is. Thanks for sharing!

  124. Reblogged this on Nicholas C. Rossis and commented:
    An awesome resource for all authors!

  125. We “paint pictures” with words don’t we? 🙂 Consider this blog as “followed.”

  126. Reblogged this on chrismcmullen and commented:
    Wow. When I clicked the link, it was far more impressive than I was expecting. It’s amazingly comprehensive and useful, and the further you scroll down the more of a visual treat it becomes. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

  127. roweeee says:

    Thank you for this. Probably do need to expand my colour descriptions. That said, I wrote a post which referred to Australia’s Dame Edna Everidge where I described her hair as being “pink” or “purple”. After reading your chart, I thought about changing that but then I thought that when it comes to hair that the pink and purple were out there in themselves and these are the words we use out of I guess a sense of shock. I think I might need to have some practice on the colour front.xx Rowena

  128. Sarah Harris says:

    Great idea! Bookmarking this page to help with my descriptions!

  129. macjam47 says:

    I saw this over on Nicholas C. Rossis’ blog. This is an awesome idea. Now, I need to apply that concept to other words.

  130. Thank you!! A great reference.

  131. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog….. An Author Promotions Enterprise! and commented:
    AUTHORS – at a loss for words? Ingrid has the answer – for colours! 😀

  132. mudpilewood says:

    What a great idea. I love the green selection but I may be a little influenced by Breeze’s skin colour.

  133. Hey that’s great especially useful to me because……….like a large number of men I have some colour blindness, which is a pain if I am in a hardware store looking for a particular shade, say a pale grey, and everything is called by some idiotic name which bears no resemblance or suggestion to its colour palette.
    For instance I have no comprehension of what basic colour ‘Windy Shore’ is. Neither does’Willow Wisp’ or ‘Decedent Night’ help. Oh, these are genuine paint shade descriptions! Can you tell what they are…..NO…neither can I when I have the can in my hand.
    So until the manufactures add a hint, like (this is a pale blue) in writing on the label your colour thesaurus would be an absolute godsend……Providing each section was noted as ‘blues’ browns’ ‘greys’ etc. to help us inflicted souls with this condition.
    Maybe you have the beginnings of a business there?

  134. mari wells says:

    Reblogged this on Mari Wells and commented:
    Great color reference!

  135. mari wells says:

    This is great. I reblogged it.

  136. Would make a great poster.
    Every classroom should have this one up.

  137. amommasview says:

    That’s pretty cool!

  138. Fun, fun, fun, I love that chart!!!

  139. billgncs says:

    what a fine presentation – I’ve gone my entire life ( raised two daughters ) and finally I can see what color teal is 🙂

  140. These charts can truly enrich my writing and that of others. Thank you for sharing, Ingrid.

  141. lovessiamese says:

    Wow. I’m inspired to make my own lists. May I copy this one and add to it?

  142. Amber Dane says:

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing

  143. Reblogged this on Ann Cassowary and commented:
    Here’s a wonderful resource if you’re looking for just the right colour.

  144. […] to check out a color chart that young adult writer and illustrator Ingrid Sundberg created. Her Color Thesaurus gives specific names to shades and hues of colors. So, instead of describing the bird as just being […]

  145. […] Ooh, I love this: color thesaurus. […]

  146. jin says:

    That’s wonderkful!
    I reblogged it.

  147. […] (like an open-source Photoshop), following the advice of a great mapmaking tutorial.  I use this color chart sometimes, and this medieval demographics calculator (though just for a rough guide), and I find […]

  148. Thank you very much. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! How can I thank you enough? Good job!

  149. My brother suggested I may like this blog. He was entirely
    right. This put up actually made my day. You cann’t believe
    just how so much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

  150. Reblogged this on The Scrapbook and commented:

  151. Elizabeth Goold says:

    Thank you for your beautiful color words! My students had a great time picking one for their tangram animal we created in class.

  152. […] this post is called ‘Candy’, you ask? Check out Ingrid Sundberg‘s post about the Color Thesaurus, that’s why! Hope you will enjoy browsing through my travel world, as I do when I revisit […]

  153. Bipasha says:

    Absolutely love this post! Ingrid, you just inspired me with the beauty of the vast range of colors, thanks a lot 🙂 I’m talking about it on my blog, too. Do check it out –

  154. Phoebe says:

    Thank you so much for this! It’s absolutely amazing 🙂

  155. Amy Andrews says:

    I just stumbled across this, Ingrid – only a year late but better late than never. I think it has already changed my life. I used it 5 times in my writing yesterday! I have also posted about it on my FB page and its been shared 11 times! and had over 1500 views – all my author friends are going nuts over it.

    Well done, such a useful resource to have at my fingetips!

    • Ingrid Sundberg says:

      Amy! I am so excited to hear this! Wow! I’m so glad that the color thesaurus has made such an immediate impact on your write. Thank you for sharing. You are glorious!

  156. […] while we’re talking about names for colours, let’s finish off with The Colour Thesauraus, put together by writer, Ingrid […]

  157. Evelyn Steward says:

    I did not see (French) Ultramarine in you blue section. I will reblog if I xn and try to find you more colour names.

  158. Hello Ingrid! I work for the leading lifestyle and handicrafts brand of Bangladesh, Aarong. My department uploads the images and descriptions of our products. As I am responsible for content writing I was searching for a complete and standard color guide which I could follow as a reference. I was a having tough time dealing with colors but now it’s so fun! Thank you for this wonderful resource! Best wishes from Dhaka.

  159. […] sure exactly what shade matches a given color name? Check out The Color Thesaurus for reference, and remember, have […]

  160. Believe it or not, I’ve been doing the same thing for years!! I have file folders full of color names snipped from clothes catalogs, paint colors stolen from stores, and names collected from diverse locales like soil sample guides, pigment tubes, thesauri, and friends. My father was a house painter and once asked me if I wanted some curtains a client was discarding. I asked what color they were and he replied, “Oh, they’re between burnt sienna and raw umber.” I laughed out loud! I’m also a writer and need my color charts all the time!

  161. These colors work GREAT as wine descriptors. I admit, I’ve been leaning on this a bit heavily for use in my wine reviews.

    (There’s only so many times where you have the conversation: “It’s red. Well, how red? Light red.” “What shade of light red?” “Um, lightish red?” before you want to punch someone)

    • Ingrid Sundberg says:

      Cody, I love it! Plus I’m a big wine drinker! Where can we read some of your wine reviews? Yum yum!

  162. Mike iLL says:

    I’ve been looking all over for this. Have you considered offering printed versions?

    • Ingrid Sundberg says:

      I don’t have a printed version yet. But I’m working on it! 🙂

      • Bill Davy says:

        This would be a great poster. Perhaps one of the press manufacturers (Heidelberg?) or colour companies (Pantone?) would use it as a test piece so lots of free sheets get into circulation. It would pep up our language.

        I suppose one might struggle to translate it into other languages – how many Inuit words are there for the colour of ice?

        Brilliant concept. Thank you.

        • Ingrid Sundberg says:

          Hi Bill! I am actually currently working on a poster version of the thesaurus. If you want to know when it’s available, please send me an email via my contact form (see the contact tab above).

  163. […] my last Writer’s Resource post, I used Ingrid’s Color Thesaurus to give writers a great cheat-sheet on different color names to use in their writing to create a […]

  164. […] note that Ingrid Sundberg’s Color Thesaurus is along the lines of something I’ve been thinking about for a long […]

  165. […] when I found blogger/author/artist Ingrid Sundberg’s Color Thesaurus, I was delighted with its depth and visual […]

  166. Love this Ingrid, thank you for sharing!

  167. Peter says:

    Cool! I really like the names of shades for the cold colors, especially purple. I am using your photos to help me explain which shade of a color i would like for a design-pattern or paint. -Peter

  168. This is fabulous- thank you!!

  169. This is great, thanks! I’m an artist, and one of the things I do is jewelry. Often I’ll get a custom order where the customer wants a certain color or color range, and that can be hard to communicate. Yesterday I had a customer who wanted something in the orange range. This made it so much easier come to a starting point.

  170. I am really happy to glance at this blog posts which carries tons of helpful information, thanks for providing such statistics.

  171. Hi Ingrid. Thank you for sharing this! I was so inspired by your collection of colours that I started collecting my own (sourced from my day job at a kitchen design company. Some of the names they come up with for benchtops and doors are so creative. If you’ve got time, I’d love to know what you think. I’ve posted them and linked to your blog at: I hope that’s okay. Please let me know if you would like me to remove the hyperlink.

  172. […] being inspired by Ingrid Sunberg’s ‘The Colour Thesaurus‘, I decided to put my day job to good use and share some of the wonderful colour names I […]

  173. Katie says:

    Thank you so much for this, Ingrid! I am a graphic designer, and getting clients to specify which “purple” they mean/are thinking of has never been easier! Definitely bookmarking this website for future reference! (Would love to see a poster of this, somewhere, too!)

  174. Rino Respati Hakim says:

    Well, this is really helpfull for me as a beginner. Thenks a lot Inggrid! 🙂

  175. David says:

    Ingrid, I really appreciate this! I am a writer and partially color-blind. I essentially have a lot of difficulty distinguishing between various shades and describing them properly. I may see a color differently than the average person does, in other words. This should help with that. Thanks again. 🙂

  176. Margot says:

    This is brilliant! Thanks so much for that x

  177. Anna says:

    I feel like sanguine would be a better substitute for blood in the shades of red; blood-red seems so cliched and sanguine is unique in its dual meaning of blood-red and cheerful

  178. I just stumbled upon this via pinterest and think it’s amazing, a really wonderful resourceful all kinds of writers! Would you mind if I shared it on my blog? Now off to have a look at you work!

  179. […] What is color theory, it is the practical application of mixing colors and specific color combinations. In many respects it is an atheistic science of light, because that is what color is, reflected light waves. Luckily you don’t have to be a physicist to understand color theory and apply it to your own wardrobe. (A handy thesaurus of colors) […]

  180. Ingrid, THANK YOU for a chart that validates what I thought each color name represented (and taught me a few that I was wrong about such as amethyst). I am a graphic designer with an emphasis on brand identity. Normally I’ll specify a Pantone color for most branding and print, or hex if the work will be mostly for the web. Today, however, a sparkling new client gave me a list of her favorite colors: cobalt, emerald, ruby, amethyst, royal purple and gold. I’m a stickler for accuracy, so I searched the web for colors by name. The first chart I landed on was standard web colors. They names were so way off from the colors (ruby red is NOT pink and emerald is NOT pastel!) that I left that chart immediately, quite disappointed at such a global misinterpretation of definitions. (My monitors are accurately calibrated, by the way.) Then I stopped by Pantone, and their color names didn’t help much either (either too muted or nonexistent–shows Ruby Wine but not the gem). Paint swatches, other color charts, nothing showed the colors that reflected the names I was given to work with. I had a sense what they were, but wanted validation. And you gave it to me! Thank you for such a wonderful reference. I will be creating a poster as part of my monthly personal design project, AmperArt — this one about color — and will mention your website and blog. Your being an artist as well as a writer, you’ll probably enjoy which features “the ampersand as fun & fabulous art).

  181. El Johnson says:

    So glad I found this place. Had I not grown up the way I did, to do the things I do today, I would have LOVED to do what you have done right here. Pantone Color swatches set to the tone of deftly descriptive names; a Thesaurus of color clans in families of palettes and hues living side by side, sharing their regalia. Thank you for birthing this project. Lord knows how we’ve needed it so.

  182. Hello Ingrid,

    I stumbled upon your page and it’s a treasure chest! I’m a calligrapher and suggest that students practice categorically in COLORS, foods, states, etc., A-Z. I will share your post on my FB page and may also reference it in blogs/newsletters that I’m working on. I can only imagine how much time you spent on this ~ it’s incredible and I’m grateful to find it! Thank you for a valuable resource for both writers and artists!

  183. Sangeet says:

    Hey Ingrid, thanks a lot for providing this useful piece of info. What a coincidence, learning various shades was on my mind for quite some time and I chanced upon your treasure. Gratitude for providing this learning opportunity.

  184. Dear Ingrid.
    I love this and am going to reference it in an article I am about to publish in a teachers’ journal here in Ireland about teaching children to explore the theme of colour through poetry writing and visual arts. The article is to be entitled “A Riot of Colour” and if you would like a pdf copy send me an e-mail.

  185. Hi!

    This is absolutely great. I’m a stock photographer from Spain and, when I’m keywording, I spent lot of time to name (and find synonyms) for concrete tones/colours.
    This is really helpful. Just sharing in my Pinterest using your social media buttons!
    Thanks and congratulations!!

    Miguel /

  186. Kate Warner says:

    Thankyou, this thesaurus is so so fabulous!

  187. Andrew Griffin says:

    Ingrid, this is brilliant. Thanks for helping us expand our ability to describe colours.

  188. […] example, I love things like the color thesaurus. I like words, I like images, and I love the way Ingrid Sundberg married the two. Reading the words […]

  189. Emily says:

    Some of my favorite color names: vermillion, viridian, cerulean, puce, nacre, opaline, chartreuse, obsidian, poppy/coquelicot, amaranthine, marigold, taupe, aubergine, indigo.

  190. Amy Holliday says:

    This is awesome. It’ll be quite handy for a project I’m working on. My husband paints abstract artwork, and I use it as a muse for poetry. Thanks so much.

  191. Heather says:

    Color and color combinations have been on my mind lately, so stumbling across this article on Facebook was great! Working on a new yarn dyeing business has made it very important to express which shade of colors I mean, both to my customers and business partners, so having charts like this for reference is fabulous! Thanks so much for posting your work, it is much appreciated.

  192. Lesley says:

    I love this! Quick correction, particularly if you’re going to print and using this for writing- fuchsia. The c and s are reversed on the chart. Technically we almost all mispronounce this one (based on the flower, should be said “fook-see-ah” but we say “fyoo-sha”) but we don’t need to misspell it too!

    Looking forward to the poster!

    • Hello Ingrid. This is a wonderful achievement of yours. Thank you so much. The names of the colours are so evocative and just looking at the different tints, tones and shades of hues is so exciting. Looking forward to the poster. And, I hope very much you will receive financial benefit from your work of art! Pauline

  193. […] I was writing this post, I discovered that Mental_floss has an excellent post on color shades from Ingrid Sundberg. I was thrilled, naturally, to have new words to add to my word-palate… and began thinking […]

  194. Beth Navarro says:

    This is wonderful! Can’t wait for the poster.

  195. […] I have to be honest and say I’ve never heard of Ingrid Sundberg, and obviously unfamiliar with her work. After a quick perusal of her website (and the mini gallery of her colorful hair, oh YES), I get the sense that she is also particular about using the right word. She’s so particular, in fact, she’s given the rest of the world a nice, visual guide by creating The Color Thesaurus. […]

  196. Also, a comment here talked about the spelling for fuchsia. A tip I go by is to remember the name of the man who the plant was named after: Leonhart FUCHS [ˈfʊks] (1501 – 10 May 1566), was a German physician and botanist. His chief notability is as the author of a large book about plants and their uses as medicines, i.e. a Herbal Book. It was first published in 1542 in Latin. It has about 500 accurate and detailed drawings of plants, which were printed from woodcuts. The drawings are the book’s most notable advance on its predecessors. Although drawings were in use beforehand in other Herbal books, Fuchs’ Herbal book proved and emphasized high-quality drawings as the most telling way to specify what a plant name stands for.

    The botanical genus Fuchsia is named in his honour, and consequently the colour fuchsia.

  197. Sarah K says:

    As a musician, I’m constantly playing with various tone colors and trying to visualize the colors I want in my music. What an amazing resource to look at to find just the right “shade” for each melody!

  198. […] Ingrid Sundberg has a great color thesaurus here. […]

  199. […] Color Thesaurus More words for colors is always a good thing. Plus this is just beautiful. […]

  200. Denise evans says:

    Ochre, burnt umber?

  201. Denise evans says:

    Turquoise, French navy

  202. Denise evans says:

    Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate,elephant grey

  203. arlee says:

    Colour naming is subjective though–computer monitors, personal experience, and evocative memory plays into it as well. This is a useful tool, but only as far as someone else’s view matches yours. Your “banana” is my “butter”! 🙂

  204. i’ve just learned about your great Color Thesaurus project, and it was love at first color…;o)

  205. […] Sourced through from: […]

  206. […] such stressed circumstances: a dark shade of turquoise (ocean/aegean) and dark plummy magenta (see color thesaurus by Ingrid […]

  207. Mike says:

    You might enjoy using your favorite search engine to look for xkcd color survey for more perspectives on color and naming.

  208. […] kottke, we discovered this Color Thesaurus created by designer and author Ingrid Sundberg. Ms Sundberg’s original […]

  209. […] when you need just the right shade, the color thesaurus. Banksy, is that you? New study uses geographic profiling to point to a man previously pinpointed […]

  210. Briony says:

    I look handsome, I look smart
    I am a walking work of art
    Such a dazzling coat of many colors
    How I love my coat of many colors

    It was red and yellow and green and brown
    And scarlet and black and ocher and peach
    And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
    And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
    And cream and crimson and silver and rose
    And azure and lemon and russet and grey
    And purple and white and pink and orange
    And red and yellow and green and brown
    Scarlet and black and ocher and peach
    And ruby and olive and violet and fawn
    And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve
    And cream and crimson and silver and rose
    And azure and lemon and russet and grey
    And purple and white and pink and orange
    And blue

    PS – I love it!

  211. Nancy LaRose says:

    To reiterate what everyone else has been saying: Thank you for producing this clearly time-intensive colour chart. It will be a terribly useful resource.

    One teeny thing, in case no one has said anything yet. Fuchsia was misspelled on the chart as “fuchcia”. I’m not one of those picky Internet posters correcting everyone’s spelling and grammar but figured since people will be using this as a resource, it might be be useful to mention.

  212. […] be lost for words to describe a colour ever again: Ingrid’s Totally Awesome Color Thesaurus is here to pump up your hue vocabulary, ensuring next time you go to the paint-mixing section of […]

  213. […] If you’re a color addict, then you know the struggles of picking the perfect color. How do you put into words that exact shade you’re looking for? Well, you need a color thesaurus. If only something like that existed. Oh wait — it does? Yup, and here it is. […]

  214. […] If you’re a color addict, then you know the struggles of picking the perfect color. How do you put into words that exact shade you’re looking for? Well, you need a color thesaurus. If only something like that existed. Oh wait — it does? Yup, and here it is. […]

  215. […] Ingrid’s Totally Awesome Color Thesaurus Group […]

  216. […] If you’re a color addict, then you know the struggles of picking the perfect color. How do you put into words that exact shade you’re looking for? Well, you need a color thesaurus. If only something like that existed. Oh wait — it does? Yup, and here it is. […]

  217. It’s very effortless to find out any topic on web as compared
    to books, as I found this piece of writing at this website.

  218. […] You can go and look it up on a dictionary. According to Merriam-Webster’s it’s “a yellowish-green color”. Still looking for an answer? Try Ingrid Sundberg’s Color Thesaurus! […]

  219. […] compte qu’elle avait du mal à décrire les couleurs, elle nous a pondu un joli « Color Thesaurus.«  Ce sublime kaléidoscope de couleurs vous permettra enfin de nommer les couleurs avec […]

  220. […] P.S. You may find this amazing original post here. […]

  221. Elianna says:

    I just came across your post and as a wannabe author, I find it really useful. Describing vividly colors can help a lot a story. I found your article at the perfect time and decided to re-blog at my blog. You may find it here.

    Once again thank you so much,

  222. Chris says:

    Add hexcodes! it would make it ideal for all of us designers who have trouble getting a client to pick a color.

    • Barbara says:

      Ingrid, Thank you VERY much for this site. I am constantly looking for ways to describe the colors of my hats and now that we sell clothing online, it is imperative. And Chris, for the hex codes, simply use Color Detector, an amazing little app that simply does its job and does not invade anything else.

  223. This is exactly the resource I was looking for – thank you so much for putting it together and sharing it publicly. 🙂
    – Joanna

  224. […] turn a descriptive phrase…or even if you’re not…I urge you to take a peek at this re-blogged post by Ingrid Sundberg, “The Totally Amazing Colour Thesaurus”, and both of their […]

  225. Chloe says:

    Love it, but its missing lots of very well known hues like Majorelle Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Bottle Green, Kelly Green, Camel, Carmine Red, Putty White, Chalk White, Chinese Red, Puce, Sulfur Yellow etc..

  226. Meric Mercan says:

    Thank you for this great work of art! 🙂 I do have one question: Where is turquoise (my favorite color)?

  227. I liked the content on this site. Would like to visit again.

  228. […] Comprehensive listing of color names: The Color Thesaurus  […]

  229. Elreydelleon says:

    What a fancy selection of palettes.
    This is very handy. Thank you for your efforts!

  230. homepage says:

    Hi there, constantly i used to check webpage posts here
    in the early hours in the daylight, for the reason that i like
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  231. Barbara says:

    I think some of these will definitely be helpful, but some seem off to me. If I said something was cantaloupe colored, I think the person would picture something more orange-is. Also, I’ve not seen lemonade that color. All in all, though, these charts could come in handy.

    • Ingrid Sundberg says:

      Hi Barbara,
      Thanks for commenting! The problem with a chart like this is it’s often misinterpreted as a dictionary … meaning the color and its label are permanent in some way. Which they are not. A chart creates a false sense that cantaloupe can only be this one color. When the truth is, color is subjective. Cut open ten cantaloupes and they’ll all be different colors inside. Not to mention color acuity causes every human eye to see color slightly differently. So, these are the colors as I see them.

  232. John Peter McCance says:

    Hi Ingrid,
    I love the whole concept and I will be using it with my elementary Year Three class (8-year-old children). Anyways, I read your article back in March and saved it for later. I have since come across this…

    I do hope you gave them permission to use your creations.

    Many thanks,

  233. Nur_Seha says:

    Hi ingrid your thesaurus color make my life more colourful.

    thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  234. Ibrahim Khan says:

    Very Interesting. Just a few comments/questions?
    1. I can not see any difference between many shades of colors. Does this apply to everybody else? Do women see many more shades of colors than men?
    2. I am really interested in locating or compiling a standardized list of all color names for use with the general public. The facts about the number of colors the human eye can see apply, I think, to those with the sharpest vision, under the best light conditions and after staring at the color for some time. Practically speaking, I think we only need about 200 color names. There is only one white and one black and 10 shades of each of the other basic colors gives us a total of about 100. We could then add others such as blue-greens, and brown-greens (olives) etc, to arrive at about 200. I am sure that if the names are kept to a minimum and standardized, the general public will be willing to use them. Obviously, artists, writers, and others working in color may want to use extra terms to distinguish between finer shades. What do you think? Is this a feasible idea? Or is it impossible to agree on the various shades of the basic colors we already have? Thanks.

  235. Ibrahim Khan says:

    3. Here in England, UK, where we famously spell color as colour, we have the name khaki as a form of tan.
    4. I suggest you place the closest shades of color together on your chart to enable viewers to contrast them.

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