xkcd Colour Name Research

One comment I had on my post for the ‘Colour Categorising’ survey I did, suggested that I look at the results of a survey that Randall Munroe had carried out a few years ago. It consisted of people naming a particular shade of colour shown, with a type box rather than a drop list of answers to choose from. According to his summary of the results ‘over five million colors were named across 222,500 user sessions’.

It’s really interesting to read his summary of results that show a number of different things. His visual chart of how females name colours vs. how males name colours shows that it seems that females are more likely to name more detailed colours, whereas men more commonly have generalised terms.


One thing I have found from my own research and also concluded from Munroe’s research is that people are very particular about the colour teal. While commonly the male respondents to Munroes survey grouped blue together instead of individual shades, teal was an exception.

As well as seeing how males vs. Females name colours, the results showed where on average certain colours “start” and “finish”. This is particularly useful in looking at what people consider to be the colour “pink”. 

Additionally to this, Munroe released the full data collected including all the RGB values of the colours that people named. I want to try and search the data to see if any of “my” shades of pink had happened to be named. It would be interesting to see what people would call them, however I’m having allot of trouble trying to open the data. It uses a database program called ‘SQLite’, which is based on written commands – I’m finding it quite difficult to open the information. 




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