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Name That Color (Literally)

One of the best jobs I can imagine is getting paid to name things like ice cream flavors or watercolor paints or colors – and this morning I saw an online call for the public to help name 16.7 million different colors in the RGB web space!

Today I named three RGB colors: “Hand Churned Peach,” “Coastal Cotillion,” and “Cottage Peony!”

What’s RGB?

RGB is what computer monitors use for colors because monitors give off light, and thus this type of additive color scheme works best for graphic design and other onscreen applications.

As I’m writing this blog post of The Daily Artisan, real-time data shows that 393 RGB colors have been named worldwide during the past hour.

And, of the exactly 16,777,216 RGB colors, only 17% (or 2,856,331) total colors have been named – so there’s a lot of work – and fun – left for all!

How The Naming Works

The web-based naming effort is under the direction of colornames.org, and here’s the website’s quoted information about how it works:

  • “It’s a collaborative effort to name every color in the RGB/web space.
  • Anyone can propose a new name for a particular color. So long as the name is descriptive and non-offensive, it becomes associated with that color. If multiple names are proposed for the same color, it is then a matter of which name has the most votes from the community.
  • All naming data is made freely available to anyone who wants it. No cost or copyright/license restrictions. If we can establish an open, free and consistent source of color names then it’s something everyone will benefit from.
  • How can I help? Easy: leave your mark and name a random color. Alternatively, vote on some incoming color names.”

Other Color Numbering Systems

Previously I’ve posted about the Pantone Color Formula Guide, and how I’ve held on to mine since my first job with a public relations and advertising firm after college graduation. This Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the one I’m most familiar with, and I use it for all kinds of art and other projects.

Another system is the HEX Color Code, which also is used onscreen and is basically a short code for RGB color. On both HEX and RGB, you’ll find a six-digit combination of numbers and letters – signifying the specific formula values for the red, green and blue (RGB) colors.

When I designed my logo for The Daily Artisan and selected the colors, I knew I’d be using them also for the website – so using HEX/RGB was the route to go. For The Daily Artisan’s logo and website design, I chose five HEX Code colors (plus white):

Naming My Three Colors Today!

The ColorNames website offers various ways to get started. You can select a color you’d like to name, or you can first search for words and names you’re interesting in using – to determine if they’ve already been taken. Some people must not do the searches because occasionally I saw “DUPE” beside a proposed color name. In that case as indicated above, website visitor votes will determine the final name.

Of course I wanted to name at least 20 or 30 colors, but I limited myself to 3 today!

I chose color shades in peach, turquoise, and pink for my naming opportunities, and thinking of names was a lot of fun. I didn’t want to duplicate anyone else’s names, so as I thought through lots of options, I checked them through the search feature.

And my new names for the colors – and the reasons why – are (drum roll):

“Hand Churned Peach:”

With peach my favorite ice cream flavor, I wanted something related to this for the name. There was nothing like “Hand Churned Peach,” which now is this color’s RGB name! After my proposed name was accepted, I did a search to make sure it showed up as submitted, as you’ll see below.

“Hand Churned Peach” makes me think of eating peach ice cream churned by hand out in the backyard on a summer afternoon!

“Coastal Cotillion:”

Turquoise is my favorite color, and I had to name a shade of it. Of course there were lots of names already taken that incorporate the word “turquoise” itself.

I liked the alliteration of “Coastal” and “Cotillion,” and with a cotillion being a dance, it seems perfect for how the waves dance along the coastline – hence, “Coastal Cotillion!”

(You don’t provide your name or email address when naming a color, but the system reflects your location from the IP address. As you’ll see below, it mistakenly shows me as living in Cape Coral, Florida. This happens sometimes for my IP-indicated location.)

“Cottage Peony:”

Of course pink also had to be included in my color namings. I looked at tons of pink shades, and kept coming back to this one. I didn’t want to use the word “pink” in the name, so I came up with a flower that comes in pink (the peony).

“Cottage Peony” makes me think of a seaside, white, clapboard-sided cottage with pink peonies growing all around the house!

Naming RGB colors today was loads of fun, and I suspect I’ll be back for a few more to help get closer to the goal of 16.7 million names!

Have you ever wanted to name colors? Will you come up with some through the ColorNames website, and what colors will they be? Be sure to comment below!



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