Whether it's a TV screen, computer monitor or phone, every device will render color differently. This isn't usually an apocalyptic-grade ordeal, but when you're selling color-centric products online (ahem), it's problematic.
What we do to show colors accurately
We represent the color of our labels as accurately as possible by calibrating our computer monitors. Every month, we turn off the lights in the office (Andrew always gets creeped out when this happens ... something about repressed childhood memories of dark basements, Oscar the Grouch and poison ivy), stick a Spyder4 on the monitor, and calibrate the display colors so they're accurate.
After color calibration, we edit all product images in Photoshop and ensure the correct Pantone numbers match each label you see on our website.
But it's not always enough
Yet, after all this nerding out with color enhancing technology, the colors will still be brighter, darker or wildly different on your device.
Unless we all calibrate our devices the exact same way, and view those devices under the same lighting conditions, we'll never be viewing the same color the same way. I know, that's about as inefficient as an octopus chasing a rickshaw.
The simplest solution for you is to request a free swatch card by clicking here and filling out the online form.
But if you're in a mad rush, and you need a better feel for each color now...
The next thing to do is to keep reading this article. I'll go through each color we sell (they match across many of our sticky products btw) and provide some synonyms that will give you a better feel for each color.
I've spent countless hours photographing and editing each product you see on this site, so I have an chummy relationship with each color.
But at the end of the day, my opinion on these colors is subjective. In the words of Captain Hector Barbossa from the Pirates of the Caribbean, think of this as 'more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules'.
For your viewing pleasure, our 38 Colors are divided into five families based off relationship, popularity, type, and ease of user experience.
We'll start with the standard colors, which all have a semi gloss finish.
Standard White - pure, snow, bleached white (not off white or cream)
Standard Black - obsidian, charcoal, midnight, jet black
Standard Red - cherry, blood, strawberry (not merlot, rose or garnet)
Standard Blue - light, sky, azure, baby blue (not navy or cobalt)
Standard Green - emerald, clover, Irish
Standard Orange - tangerine, sunrise, carrot
Standard Yellow - banana, sunny, cream, lemon
Next are the fluorescent colors, which are what we call "true fluorescents" within industry jargon. They have a matte finish, and they're neon glowingly bright.
Fluorescent Green - bright, harlequin, screamin'
Fluorescent Red - think road safety sign, fire, intense sunrise, somewhat coral (this color often gets confused with Fluorescent Orange. It makes more sense when you see the two colors side by side on the swatch card)
Fluorescent Orange - pumpkin, marigold
Fluorescent Purple - lilac, amethyst, orchid
Fluorescent Yellow - yellow, neon cream
Fluorescent Pink - fuchsia, shocking, barbie
Here are the specialty colors, as they tend to be more particular and have sometimes been a boon for folks to match their branding.
Specialty Aqua - light greenish blue, ocean, fresh, rain water
Specialty Copper - Lincoln penny, hazel, medium brown
Specialty Tan - desert, sand, khaki
Specialty Chartreuse - candy apple green, halfway between green and yellow (the only color named after a liqueur that's been made by French, Carthusian monks for 100s of years! Likely my favorite color)
Specialty Lime - lime wedge in a corona bottle, light sea green, wedding mint
Specialty Dark Blue - reflex blue, cobalt, ultramarine
Specialty Rose - blush, zinfandel
Specialty Gray - slate, stone, ash
Specialty Lavender - blueish purple
Specialty Violet - lilac, amethyst, light purple
Specialty Pink - light rose, flush
Specialty Salmon - pinkish red like the fish
Specialty Maroon - burgundy, dark red, merlot, malbec, chianti ... thirsty now
Here are our three, glossy metallic colors that are pretty self explanatory.
Metallic Gold - dull, shiny yellow
Metallic Silver - neutral, pale gray
Metallic Bronze - reflective chestnut-copper-burnt-orange
eaRth Tones Colors
Finally, here is a breakdown of our "eaRth Tones" colors, which all have a semi gloss finish
eaRth Tones Apricot - light pinkish red
eaRth Tones Burnt Umber - rust, clay, dark earthen red
eaRth Tones Teal - deep sea blue-green, beryl, cerulean
eaRth Tones Goldenrod - rich creamy yellow, saffron, amber
eaRth Tones Cocoa - dark chocolate, espresso
eaRth Tones Forest Green - hunter, jungle
eaRth Tones Olive - army drab, verde
eaRth Tones Purple - royal dark plum, eminence, palatinate
eaRth Tones Magenta cardinal, quinacridone, crimson, claret
Click here for a free color swatch in the mail
Update from September 2019
You Say Tomato and I say Tomato...
It is fascinating to see how people describe colors. We tend to put each into a general category, but there can be an overlap. Also, there can be confusion between how people express a color. Patrick describes magenta as crimson; I would attribute that quality to maroon. Additionally, I would never describe maroon as burgundy. However, we're not here to quarrel. I, for one, am not qualified enough to critique someone's opinion in this matter. In this vein, we here at ChromaLabel are open to your thoughts and don't insist you take our description of colors as the definitive work on the subject. If by chance you find yourself bantering about the finer details of color, you can always point to your Swatch card and settle your differences. You may not agree on the name, but the Swatch doesn't lie unless you, like me, are color deficient. Don't worry though I'm not in charge of color-matching.