Color Test: Luminoso's XKCD Survey Presents Different Hues For Men And Women

10/03/2012 10:52 am ET

Female colors versus male colors? Good colors versus bad colors? Edible colors? Luminoso's enormous word cloud of a color survey has them all, in mind-boggling detail, if your web browser and monitor can handle it.

The folks at Luminoso explain what they were thinking in a post on their blog.

A while ago, Randall Munroe of ran a survey. It showed you a random color and asked you to name it. With the combined power of lots of people on the Internet, it collected over two million data points about what people call different RGB colors. He put up the results for anyone to download.

As linguistic data sets go, this one is awesome. If you want to know what colors are named, you could go the prescriptive route and ask Pantone for a definitive list. Or you could go the descriptive route, and just ask people in general, two million times.

The results of the full color survey are available here. Play around with the controls a bit and you'll find that the folks at Luminoso have also presorted their colors in a few unusual ways (probably to show off their text analytics software, which is what the company actually makes). No longer will you have to argue the diference between dusty rose and baby pink, just hover your computer mouse over the Luminoso creation, and the answer will be revealed. Alternate word clouds you can generate from the survey sort color names by:

(No, we don't know what's wrong with "amber" either.)

To see more, check out the full color map here. The bad news? For now, it only works really well on Chrome.

If you're up for a serious challenge, check out this great online quiz that judges how well you perceive colors.


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