obsessive love of colour

I am on leave at the moment, and I have to be very strict with myself otherwise my entire week will be spent on my best community site at www.colourlovers.com. OK – Ive got over the honeymoon period where I obsessively created palettes all day long – but there is still enough there to keep me from what I am supposed to be doing…

airships and sky

So what is this site for? Its very simple. You create … colour palettes. There is a little application that allows you to pick five colours, arrange them in a particular order, give them names (if another colourlover has not done so already) and then name the resulting palette. Rather… um… lame?

That’s the thing. So simple but it can become absorbingly addictive. Apart from the visceral pleasure of playing with the colours themselves, you also get to play with words. Combining colours and combining words creates a condensed poem. A sort of Haiku.

Perfect for that little creative shot in the arm when you don’t have the energy to haul out your sketchpad. And there is the excuse that if you did wish to use these for work, you can download the palettes and plug them into Photoshop or Illustrator.

You also get to comment on the colours and palettes of other lovers, and to vote for them. A touchy subject… here is a conversation about voting, and one about constructive criticism.

To give you and idea – here are some examples of what people have made of this site. Click on the “palette badge” to see that palette’s page and the comments on it.

Keyword Palettes
Keyword palettes are made by searching the colourlover database for colours that have been named already by other lovers, and combining them in a palette.

This one is also a rather biting response in an argument between colourlovers of different generations – it resulted in:

Living in the Past

Of course, this is my blog so I get to feature myself. This is my own favourite keyword palette. It started by finding a colour by groutboy – king of colour names – called “sandpaper panties”. So I made:
Damsel in distress

There are any number of games in which people can collaborate to create palettes – for example, the “Take one colour, pass it down” game, or the “2+2=5” game.

On all topics related to colour:

And this is just an arbitrary selection. The list goes on and on…

On the home page, you will read that “COLOURlovers™ is a resource that monitors and influences color trends.” – so you will find the magazine and website trends documented.


There are any number of groups – where colourlovers can organise particular types of palettes, or issue challenges in colour games. For example –

  • Tributes – for palettes made in tribute for other colourlovers, usually using colours they have made, like this one:
    Technicolorrr Glow
  • Chic – for all kinds of colour games
  • Ouch – for eyeburning palettes (that tend to have a lot of lime green)
  • Fairy Tales and Other Stories – that issues quotes from books and stories, and people respond with palettes
  • Web – there are even a couple of groups for people who are working out website colour schemes. So its not all procrastination…


I nearly forgot – you can also create patterns with your palettes:
A Bold Woman
Faded Sultan

Some Colourlovers
Wearpalettes: who is “collecting colour palettes that I extrapolate from the sartorialist photos. On the site you can find more than 1300 palettes combined with a picture. ” You can see these on their blog.

Retsof : ” I do try to make the palette name, color names, hues and even hex codes all meaningful if possible” who is the grain of sand in the colourlover sandwich – always unexpected, always playing games.

lizcrimson : “Colour is everything – I feel sorry for dogs” who has been a colourlover since 2005, and still creates fresh and original pallettes every day.

I could just go on and on…

And if you want to try it out and dont know how to use the site, have a look at the “Sharing the Love” group for information on how to do everything from customize your profile page, to use the colour mixers on the site.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Darius A Monsef IV
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 15:58:17

    Such a thoughtful and wonderful post that showcases so much of the COLOURlovers community… Not that I’m surprised, can you do anything poorly?

    Happy COLOURloving!

  2. Procrastination Definition
    Apr 19, 2008 @ 18:45:45

    I found your blog via Google while searching for procrastination definition and your post regarding obsessive love of colour looks very interesting to me. I was impressed by your site and offerings. I was looking at some of the articles and it really impressed me. All I can say is congratulations on creating this site and what took you so long? I look forward to returning.

  3. Trackback: Danger! Time-sink ahead « Masha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: