Wednesday 1 June 2016

Colour Concepts 3: 50 shades of grey....

Oh, c'mon. You knew that title had to get worked in somewhere, right?

So. A little side post preparatory to discussing the colour of some things in nature. Think about the answer to this question before you click "Read more" (and don't cheat and use a colour picker!):

Actually, I'll ask it in a number of different ways, so:
Which of these squares is best described as grey?
If you were asked to paint something plain grey, which one would you pick?
Which of these is the closest to pure grey?

Now, of course, exactly how you perceive these colours depends on how your monitor is set up, etc, but...

I have a hunch, based on general observation of people's use of colour (and I'll be interested to see if I'm right), that quite a few people, possibly even a majority, picked 5, and some may have even picked 2.

1 is pure 50% grey (#808080 in RGB terms). 2 is #708090 (and I've seen a LOT of rocks painted that colour!), 3 is #908070, 4 is #858076 (I typo-ed!), 5 is #758085 and 6, just for fun, is tinged a bit green and is #758580.

[Amused footnote: showed this to my wife and son and both said without ANY hesitation '2'.]


  1. FWIW, I picked #1. #5 would havebeen my second choice.

    1. Ditto. @ is clearly Blue-Grey, 5 is what I would have called "Navy Grey", 3 & 4 are browns, 6 is what Americans call Teal, in my experience.

  2. 1: concrete grey
    2: slate grey
    3: British uniform
    4: granite
    5: german uniform
    6: Field Grey

    ...sort of anyway. :-)

    #3 Surprised me the most.

  3. Working in the furniture industry we've noticed a subtle but definite move towards grey as a base colour. People can be a bit confused when you describe something as blue/grey brown/grey etc. but it often makes sense when you have several examples, such as those pictured, in front of you. Luckily for my credibility at work I got the correct answer.

  4. I picked #1, but #5 would have been my second choice. Then again, I am mildly color blind (Red/Green), so probably not the best at this sort of thing.

  5. I picked #1 as well... #5 would have been my second choice but a bit "green" to be a good grey...

  6. Interesting. I confidently picked 5. Number 1 was my second choice but it looked too red to be my first choice. Funny that it was indeed more red.


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