Blog: Secrets from the Chef

Fancy color names or Royal Blue

Denis KortunovAuthor: Denis Kortunov
28 March 2008

Royal BlueIt all started when our client wrote, seemingly as an afterthought: “Please change the color of the icon to royal blue.” To tell you the truth, this request struck me as rather unusual. We have dark blue, light blue and ordinary blue, but no royal blue that I knew about. So I did some research.

It turns out that for centuries there has been a whole list of names for colors and hues, and some of them are rather amusing:

Fancy color names

Why not use these names more widely in professional design lingo? Forget soulless letters and digits like #C41E3A and R:196 G:30 B: 58, instead use a beautiful name like “Cardinal.” It would make poetry out of designer speak. For example: “I think that the combination of light cherry text and a chartreuse background will make this composition very special. If we add some jade spots as accents, this whole thing will surely rock.”

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I definately get your point, and also agree, that sometimes it would enhance language’s descriptive value not to speak in cmyk and rgb values (not to speak of hex :P). However, use fancy color names or don’t, the ever ongoing arguing with clients about if or if not this is too blue nor not too blue, or too much royal, when they wanted it more denim, probably won’t be solved by this either.
Plus, who really knows what color “papaya whip” does even slightly look like? :D

Reply kontur, 28 March 2008

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