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Colour selection criteria

When colours are selected, it is advisable to select a concrete colour sample, such as a piece of cloth or some other tangible example of the colour in question. In reality, we do not always have the chance to see any colour sample, so instead we have to rely on colour descriptions and mental images.

Our mental images of colours are different. For example, if a group of people is asked to choose a colour described as “Apple red”, we are likely to get a number of clearly distinct selections – there may even be a few green or yellow hues among the shades of red. After all, apples come in many colours. Often we think that we can remember a certain shade of colour accurately, but it is almost impossible as humans lack an “exact” memory for colours. Nor do we have enough words to describe the thousands of shades of colours.

ABC of colour selection - Olive green

Colour cards