In Living Color: Our Perception and Color

“We live in a rainbow of chaos” – artist Paul Cezanne

One of the foremost elements coming in through our sense of sight is COLOR.


TWITTER #tokkailuaQ of the Week 19: using the hashtag #tokkailuaQ tweet about your favorite colors and why, the colors that are the most soothing to you, the colors you work best in , the colors you like to wear, the colors that irritate you, and the colors that spark certain emotions or memories. – yes, you can have more than 1 tweet!

What IS Color?

The Effect of Color

QUESTIONS: How do we explain the varying ways people see colors and use language to describe them? What is the history of human color vision? Why do we have such different reactions to colors than animals? How does culture affect our perception of color and its meanings?

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LOTTO LAB: Public Color Experiements (great questions!)

and more color illusions

The next video is about perspectives. How can graphic designers, etc. get inside the eyes of someone who is colorblind, in order to avoid creating confusing products. To find out more about how people with “color deficiencies” see the world, CLICK HERE

EXPLANATION OF “COLOR-BLINDNESS” and the different types

What is YOUR favorite color? Find out what people say HERE:

Explaining Color to a Blind Person


This site explores color symbolism, culture and culture, color and gender, color theory, color history, color and science, color marketing, and color fun!

Color in Motion (Interactive)

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Start by taking the GLOBAL COLOR SURVEY and checking out the results.




CRAYOLA COLORS – Why was “Flesh” renamed “Peach” and what was the previously controversial name of “Chestnut”? What color is “Fuzzy Wuzzy”, exactly? Who knew they made “Manatee” and “Beaver”? This Wiki page lists all the colors and dates and explains when / why they were renamed.


“WHAT WE USED TO DO FOR COLOR” – find out about the toxic history of colors

Below is a fascinating Animated Infographic highlighting the effect of colors in advertising (starts about 2:15…or right at 2:50) – also about perception/emotion and marketing:

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOR IN DESIGN (more pics and examples)

Color Symbolism in ADVERTISING


Now Introducing 2014 COLORS OF THE YEAR: nominate now (and see previous years)!

ANIMATED VIDEO: Why Pink should be called “MINUS GREEN”

Cool things with color:


Check out this Cathedral Art Installation in Belgium

Check out this new all-color look at the Amazonian Rainforest:



#Twitter Synesthesia Poetry Warm up:

Respond to the following questions by posting your answers to Twitter using the hashtag #toksyn . Afterwards, you will learn how to use Storify to create a found poem using everyone’s tweets. This should get you thinking about the interplay between language and sense perception as WOKS, as well as the relationships among the senses. ***You will have a limited time period to answer, so go with what pops into your head, but keep it clean, please. Don’t forget you have only 140 char, minus #toksyn, so use abbreviations if necessary.

After you are finished composing the poem, CLICK HERE to post your link to your Storify

Q1: Red is the taste of ______________

Q2: The sound of _________(name a color) is like____________

Q3: Most delicious is ______(name a color) because__________

Q4: (color) reminds me________

Q5: (insert a photo, video, image)

Q6: I smell (name a color) when_________

Q7: The scent of (name a color) is like_________

Q8: I touch  (name a color) when________

Color and Philosophy : how do we know our perceptions are reliable?


Synesthesia is from the Greek “Syn“, meaning “together” and “aisthesis“, meaning “to perceive“. It’s a mingling of the senses and commonly defined as:

1. The production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body

2. The poetic description of a sense impression in terms of another sense, as in “loud perfume”

Synesthesia Explained by Dr. Ramachandran (famed neuroscientist and TED speaker…includes video!) VIDEO HERE (starts at 17:48)

***it is 8 times more common among creative people!

or…the Vlog Brothers



Which shape is KIKI and which is BOUBA? READ MORE HERE

Here’s a video explaining more:

Wolfgang Köhler studied that the large proportion of people have the same answer. why? Is there a relation here to that of abstract imagery to sounds? do people expect a certain shape to a sound.  Is this to do with synaesthesia or merely contextual association?

(Köhler’s results deemed 94% of people thought Kiki was on the left.)

GAME: COLOR OF MY SOUND – choose a color for the sound given and vote…we’ll do this in class and share

Related Web Resources:

The Synesthetic Experience (from M.I.T.)

Take the Synnie Test! (10 min)

What color is Monday? VIDEO: Funny British show on Synesthesia

VIDEO: 60 Minutes on Synesthesia (really 2 min)

Kid’s Neuroscience Site (with Syn experiment)

Hypertextopia’s “The Synesthete”, a tool to test what color you’d make the alphabet

The Synesthesia Battery (test)

“Synesthesia, Migraines, and Creativity” article

Visual Music – a collection of samples of music and the visual arts

Collection of sites on Synesthesia

VIDEO: short art film called “Synesthesia”

Belgian Synthesthesia Association’s collection of links

Seeing Color – and Hearing and Smelling It (how Graphic Designers use Synesthesia)

Rainbow Coalition of the Brain – WIRED article

Literature involving Synesthesia

Achieving Synesthesia Through Technology

Savant Daniel Tamnet has linguistic, numerical, and visual synesthesia…he explains it in his TEDtalk “Different Ways of Knowing”:

and here on ABC’s 20/20


Show what you’ve learned from all these articles and videos by creating Sketchnotes. You can do them on paper or digitally, if you have the tools to do so. Play around with color if you like. Your drawings can be all together in one “poster” or divided into little clips if you prefer. You should seek to offer AT LEAST 5 BIG TAKEAWAYS and 1 INTERESTING QUESTION within the sketchnotes. Here is an expandable poster with tips (and no, you don’t have to be a great artist)



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