Turns out – We are All Colorblind

I’m kidding of course, but whilst awaiting my Pantone 2015 color wheel, I was musing over the 2014 colors. After playing a few games of “name this color” with friends, I determined we have all become colorblind!! Sure, we knew the general pigment name, but the newly chosen names – none of us got them right. Here’s an example.


Go ahead, you know you want to guess! General consensus here was that this color was navy blue, second place was royal blue. Actual name – Princess Blue! Say what??

Don’t get me wrong, I love when designers actually create a new color. That’s half the fun of fashion, but assigning a new name to an an already existing color keeps us constantly guessing. This is probably not that important to anyone except those of us selling consignment clothing. I can’t possibly give a prospective customer the exact color name of an item made last year, bear less a vintage piece made thirty years ago. So, I take my best guess and remind them that color is subjective. Surprisingly enough, my iPhone camera picks up color quite nicely – except black, oh excuse me – I mean Jet Black.

Color is indeed subjective when working without a color wheel. Monitors and cameras lie too! Of course, lighting plays the largest role. A hint of this, a hue of that, and you’re certain you’re looking at one color whilst your friend next to you sees it totally differently. So, we decide “natural light” is best. Natural light where? What time of the day? Diffused, or full sun? If you’ve never given this any thought, take a look at even your hair color. Chances are, it changes depending on where you’re standing. Me, I’m either blonde, strawberry blonde, ash blonde, or completely white haired depending on the light. Like beauty, color is in the eye of the beholder!

So, here’s a game. Take your best guess and tell me the name of this color, without a color wheel. Want to play?