Creative Speak: Color

Are you seeing what I’m seeing?  When it comes to color, the answer is quite possibly no.  Our culture and language greatly impact our definitions of color.  While English has 11 basic colors, some other languages have as few as 2. (Because this is fascinating, feel free to skip on over here for some color educatin’).  Even people who share a language and culture will see color differently just due to individual differences.  Jeff and I often disagree about if a particular color is more green/blue, gray/brown, etc., and the conversations usually end with us at least slightly doubting each other’s sanity.

This is why I present you with the better way to talk to your creative designer-type helpers about color: numbers.  Funny, no?!  But in all seriousness, the numeric color systems such as HEX color codes and RGB values give you a way to objectively identify colors with exactness (for more about this, consult the great Wiki).

Let’s say you tell your designer that you want blue in your logo.  Your designer immediately thinks, what blue?  Is she talking about zaffre, phthalo, or maybe even glaucous? (Go look here to see what I’m talking about. :))  At this point, because you have read this article, you immediately ask for forgiveness for your imprecision and reply that you actually meant cerulean with a HEX code of #007BA7.  Your designer will breathe a huge sigh of relief and smile at you like a million suns.

But how do you find these mysterious color numbers?  What quest must you complete to obtain their awesomeness?  By wielding the color picker from, you can easily identify colors you like on websites and in images.  By questing at websites like, you can even type in a color name, like “royal blue,” and get color codes.  If you’ve found a color that is close to what you want but not quite right, you can Google a color code (example: color #604468 - this is one of Flannel Creative’s brand colors), and the magnificent Google will present you with a fantastical color display that lets you move around a color selection target to find the exact right color for you.  All silliness aside, though, just being aware that you need numeric color values and some time with an Internet connection will lead to color code fulfillment, a good relationship with your designer, and happiness all the color wheel round.

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