Colour Naming

People and mobile devices (by Valero Doval)

Let's play a game, how many colours can you name?

Welcome to Colour Naming, an online experiment designed to collect colour names in multiple languages with their corresponding colour ranges. You will be asked to name a series of colour samples and provide information about your cultural background and viewing conditions. You are free to omit any question and you may withdraw at any time without penalty. Participation in this study is strictly anonymous and voluntary.

Many individuals find the tasks of this study enjoyable and we believe there are no known risks to participants. The purpose of this research study is to improve colour communication in multilingual environments. Please feel free to contact the principal investigator Dimitris Mylonas if you have any questions.

If you are 16 years of age or older, understand the statements and freely consent to participate in the study, click on the 'Start' button to begin the experiment.


Colour namer

This is a synthetic observer trained by participants’ responses to name each colour in different languages (Mylonas, Stutters, Doval, and MacDonald, 2013). More languages will be added as more data is becoming available.

Colour name:
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Burgundy
255 0 0

This is a βeta version of Colournamer. You will need JavaScript enabled and a browser that supports HTML5 web audio.


People thinking about colours around a computer (by Valero Doval)

This research aims to develop an online colour naming model to facilitate colour communication within and between cultures.

Title: Colournamer - An Online Colour Naming Model
Lead Researcher: Dimitris Mylonas
Current Host Academic Institution:Faculty of Philosophy, New College of the Humanities at Northeastern
Host Academic Institution 2015-2019: Department of Computer Science, University College London (UCL)
1st PhD Supervisor: Professor Lewis Griffin
2nd PhD Supervisor: Professor Andrew Stockman
3rd PhD Supervisor: Professor Lindsay MacDonald
Host Academic Institution 2013-2014: Media & Arts Technology, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)
Host Academic Institution 2011-2013: Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology, Institute of Neuroesthetics, University College London (UCL)
PI: Professor Semir Zeki
Host Academic Institution 2010-2011: School of Psychology, Laboratory of Visual Perseption, University of Liverpool
PI: Professor Sophie Wuerger
This project was initiated as part of: MSc Digital Colour Imaging
Supervisor: Professor Lindsay MacDonald
Course Director: Dr Phil Green
Host Academic Institution (2007-2009): London College of Communication, University of Arts
Munsell Renotation Data: Rochester Institute of Technology The Munsell Color Science Laboratory
CU Dynamic Colour Vision Test: Professor John Barbur at the City University with support from the UK Civil Aviation Authority
Web Technical Support (2008-2010): Harris Sidiropoulos
Friendly online and offline support: Andi Studer, Netaudio London
Interface Web Development: Jon Stutters, Queen Square MS Centre, UCL
Front-end Web Development: Christoph Guttandin
Math Advisor: Dr Michael Studer
Video Editing: Dimitris Tsolakis
English Translation: Jonathan Dickens
Greek Translation: Lina Avramidou
Spanish Translation: Robert Benavente & Lena Cambero
Catalan Translation: Robert Benavente & Gemma Ponsa
German Translation: Andreas Kraushaar & Heidi Pfund
Italian Translation: Paola Fumagalli & Chiara Panosetti
Simplified Chinese Translation: Jie Xu & Ho Alan & Qingmei Huang & Beichen Yu
Traditional Chinese Translation: Jie Xu & Ho Alan
French Translation: Alex Ajbdraw
Korean Translation: 김한나 - Hanna Kim
Danish Translation: Nynne Horn
Lithuanian Translation: Dovile Meliauskaite
Thai Translation: Associate Professor Pichayada Katemake
Portuguese Translation: Carla Cruz
Swedish Translation: Nicoline Kinch & Karl Ryberg
Russian Translation: Anastasia Sorokina, Prof Galina Paramei & Dr Yulia Griber
Japanese Translation: Dr Midori Tanaka and Chizuru KOGA
Turkish Translation: Begüm Ulusoy & Ayşe Yıldıran
Vietnamese Translation: Nguyen Long Giang
Dutch Translation: Jeannette Hanenburg
Norwegian Translation: A. Prof Kine Angelo
Polish Translation: Dr. Agata Kwiatkowska-Lubańska, Cracow Academy of Fine Arts & Dr. Arch. Justyna Tarajko-Kowalska, Cracow University of Technology
Farsi Translation: Maryam Mohammad Gholipour
Slovenian Translation: Primož Weingerl, Ana Mendizza, Dejana Javoršek
Estonian Translation: Tuuli Järmut and Mari Uusküla
Illustration: Valero Doval
Fine art Printing: CCG, Thessaloniki, Greece
Sound recording and English Voice: Patrick Furness, London, UK
Greek Voice: Aspa & Vasia Paspali, London, UK & Athens, Greece
German Voice: Barbara Gamper, London, UK
Spanish Voice: Ignasia Mesa, London, UK
Thai Voice: Nanda Khaorapapong, London, UK
Russian Voice: Dr Yulia Griber, Smolensk State University, Russia
Turkish Voice: Begüm Ulusoy
Farbtastic: jQuery color picker plug-in (orientation modified): Steven Wittens


This study has been endorsed by the International Colour Association (AIC) through its Study Group on the Language of Colour.

Crowdfunding Project:

In September 2016, we ran a successful Kickstarter project, entitled Colours of Babel, to upgrade our online experiment to run on all new devices, minimize security threats and maintain our online presence free without advertisements. We thank all our 96 supporters for helping us raise 112% of our funding goal. You can find below a colour-coded list with our most precious donors:

Ruby Donors:

Emerald Donors:

  • Aspa Paspali, Consultant Adolescent Psychiatrist


  1. True Colors - interview of Dimitris Mylonas by Despina Trivoli (2009). LiFO 179 pg.50-51, Athens, Greece, November 2009
  2. Mylonas, D. (2009) A Colour Naming Investigation within Different Cultures, Oral Presentation, Digital Futures, Image Physics & Psychophysics, Institute of Physics, London, UK, November 2009
  3. Mylonas, D. (2009) An Online Colour Naming Model, Oral Presentation, Printing and Graphics Science Group Student Conference, Institute of Physics, London, UK, December 2009
  4. Mylonas, D. and MacDonald, L.W. (2010) Locating Colour Names under different viewing conditions on the Net, Conf. CREATE, Gjøvik, Norway, June 2010
  5. Mylonas, D. and MacDonald, L.W. (2010) Online Colour Naming Experiment Using Munsell Samples, Proc. CGIV 2010, Joensuu, Finland, June 2010
  6. MacDonald, L.W. and Mylonas, D. (2010) Edible Color Names, Proc. AIC 2010 Conf.on ‘Color and Food’, Mar del Plata, Argentina, October 2010
  7. Mylonas, D.,(2010) Colour Naming Workshop: Likely Colour Names Card Game, Create Workshops, Bristol, UK, October 2010
  8. Mylonas, D., MacDonald, L.W. and Wuerger S. (2010) Towards an Online Colour Naming Model, Proc. CIC 2010, San Antonio, US, November 2010
  9. Mylonas, D.(2010), Oral Presentation, WD Wright Award, Online Colour Naming Experiment Using Munsell Samples, Colour Group GB, London, UK, December 2010
  10. Mylonas, D. and MacDonald, L.W. (2012) Colour naming for colour communication. In Colour Design: Theory & Applications, ed Best, J., Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK
  11. Mylonas, D. and MacDonald, L.W. (2011) An Online Colour naming Workshop. EVA London Conference, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, London, UK, June 2011
  12. Colour naming Eglantine by any other name - Johnson (2011) Economist, Colour naming experiment and Colournamer mentioned in The Economist, New York, July, 2011
  13. Mylonas, D. (2011) Blue...and the subjective experience of colour (lecture-demo), Lost Property, Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 2011
  14. Mylonas, D. (2012) Colour naming workshop on FIRE, FIRE - Community project, London, UK, March 2012
  15. MacDonald, L., Paramei, G. and Mylonas D. (2012) Gender differences in colour naming. Conference Progress in Colour Studies 2012, Glasgow, Scotland, July 2012
  16. Mylonas, D. (2012) Colour naming for colour communication. Public talk, Symposium on Colour for Business and the Professions, Colour Group (GB), City University, London, UK, November 2012
  17. Mylonas, D., Stutters, J., Doval, V. and MacDonald, L. (2013) Colournamer - a synthetic observer for colour communication, AIC 2013 12th International Congress - Sage Gateshead, Newcastle, UK, July 2013
  18. Mylonas, D., and MacDonald, L. (2014) Augmenting Basic Colour Terms in English, AISB-50 - Goldsmiths, London, UK, April 2014
  19. MacDonald, L. and Mylonas, D. (2014) Gender Differences for Colour Naming in Spanish and English, AIC Interim Meeting, Oaxaca, Mexico, October 2014
  20. Mylonas, D., Paramei, G. and MacDonald, L. (2014) Gender Differences in Colour Naming, In: Anderson, Wendy, Carole P. Biggam, Carole Hough and Christian Kay (eds.), Colour Studies: A broad spectrum. 2014. xiv, 417 pp. (pp. 225–239), John Benjamins
  21. Mylonas, D., and MacDonald, L. (2015) Augmenting Basic Colour Terms in English, Color Research and Application, Wiley, January 2015
  22. Jacob Aron (2015) Lilac and turquoise are as basic as red and orange, New Scientist, Life, February 2015
  23. Brooks Hays (2015) Study: Lilac and turquoise are universally recognized, United Press International, February 2015
  24. Mylonas, D.(2015) Public talk: Colournamer - a synthetic observer for colour communication, Colour Group (GB) International Colour Day, London, UK, 21st March 2015
  25. Mylonas, D., Purver, M., Sadrzadeh, M., MacDonald, L. and Griffin, L. (2015) The Use of English Colour Terms in Big Data, AIC Midterm Meeting, Tokyo, Japan, May 2015
  26. Katemake,P., Mylonas, D. MacDonald, L., Prasithrathsint, A. (2015) Comparison Among Three Methods for Thai Colour Naming, AIC Midterm Meeting, Tokyo, Japan, May 2015
  27. Грибер Юлия Александровна & Милонас Димитрис(2015) Картография цвета: эмпирический анализ цветонаименований русского языка, Человек и культура, October, 2015
  28. Mylonas, D. (2015). The role of psychological primaries in cognitive colour spaces: a cross cultural colour naming study. Invited talk in Colour Vision Meeting 2015, Colour Group GB, London, UK.
  29. MacDonald, L. (2016). Colour Naming: Linking Vision and Speech. Keynote Speech at 3rd International Conference 'Colour, Culture, Science'. Kraków, Poland.
  30. Mylonas, D., Andrews, J., Griffin L.D. (2016). Variability in free colour naming across the full colour gamut. In AVA Christmas Meeting, London, UK.
  31. Griffin L.D., Mylonas, D. (2016). Why so much talk about “red”? In AVA Christmas Meeting, London, UK.
  32. Mylonas, D., MacDonald, L. (2017). Colour Naming for Colour Design. In Colour Design, ed Best, J. Elsevier
  33. Mylonas D. (2017) Where our brain meets the universe. Invited talk at Chromophobia: Colour in Architecture. Design Museum, London, UK
  34. Mylonas D. (2017) Features of GREEN colour categories across languages. Talk at The Colour Green meeting, Northern Chapter, Colour Group GB, Newcastle, UK.
  35. Mylonas, D., MacDonald L., Griffin, L.D. (2017). Differences in Color Naming between British and American English Speakers. In 13th AIC Congress, South Korea.
  36. Griber Y., Paramei G.V., Mylonas, D. (2017). Gender Differences in Russian Colour Naming. In 13th AIC Congress, South Korea.
  37. Ulusoy B., Griffin L.D., Mylonas, D. (2017). Turkish Colour Naming on the Net. In 13th AIC Congress, South Korea.
  38. Paramei G, Gibber Y., Mylonas D. (2017) An online colour naming experiment in Russian using Munsell colour samples, Color Research & Application, 43,3,358-374, DOI:10.1002/col.22190
  39. Mylonas, D.(2017), Oral Presentation, WD Wright Award, Differences in Color Naming between British and American English Speakers, Colour Group GB, City University, London, UK, November 2017
  40. Griber Y., Paramei G., Mylonas D. (2018) Objects as Culture -Specific Referents of Color Terms in Russian. Poster Presentation at the ISCC | AIC Munsell Centennial Color Symposium, June 10-15, Boston, MA, US.
  41. Mylonas D. (2018) Colour naming brings people together. Invited workshop at the ISCC | AIC Munsell Centennial Color Symposium, June 10-15, Boston, MA, US.
  42. Mylonas D. (2018) Colour naming within and across languages. Invited workshop at the ISCC | AIC Munsell Centennial Color Symposium, June 10-15, Boston, MA, US.
  43. Griber Y., Paramei G.V., Mylonas, D. (2018). Edible colour names: Cross-cultural comparison of Russian and English. In AIC Interim Meeting, Oct 25-29, Lisbon, Portugal.
  44. Griber Y., Paramei G., Mylonas D. (2018) Objects as Culture-Specific Referents of Color Terms in Russian. Color Research & Application,43,6,958-975, Wiley.
  45. Mylonas D., Stockman A., Griffin L.D. (2018) Basic Colour Terms are Indispensable. In AVA 2018 Christmas Meeting, London, UK.
  46. Mylonas D., Griffin L.D., Stockman A. (2019) Mapping Colour Names in LMS Cone Excitation Space. Invited talk at Colour Vision Meeting 2019, Colour Group GB, City University, London, UK.
  47. Griffin L.D., Mylonas, D. (2019). Categorical colour geometry. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0216296. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0216296
  48. Mylonas D., Griffin L.D., Stockman A. (2019) Mapping Colour Names in Cone Excitation Space. 25th Symposium, ICVS, 5-9 July, Riga, Latvia.
  49. Mylonas D., Griffin L.D.(2020) Coherence of achromatic, primary and basic classes of colour categories. Vision Research 175:14-22, DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2020.06.001
  50. Mylonas D., (2020) Online versus Offline Colour Naming Experiments. London Imaging Meeing, October, London, UK.
  51. Mylonas D., Griffin L.D., Stockman A. (2020) Crowdsourcing of Multilingual Color Names. In Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology, Springer.
  52. Mylonas D., (2021) Synonyms for colour names within and across languages. Colour & Potery Symposium 2021, 19-22 March, London, UK.


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