Name Every Color Shade with This Color Thesaurus

We at MicroCreatives deal with colors every day. And if you love colors as much as we do, you know that every shade should have a name. There are different shades of reds, blues, and yellows; if you’re looking for a specific shade, wouldn’t it be nice if you have a name for it? Sure, there are hex codes and Pantone colors to guide us, but what if we want simpler terms that are easier to remember? There are also crayon boxes that have about 120 colors in them. Can you name them all? How broad is your color vocabulary?


To help us find the name of the exact shade we are looking for, California-based writer and artist Ingrid Sundberg created the Color Thesaurus! Sundberg writes children’s books and coming up with creative descriptions is second nature to her.

Having a variety of color names at my fingertips helps me to create specificity in my writing. I can paint a more evocative image in my reader’s mind if I describe a character’s hair as the color of rust or carrot-squash, rather than red.Ingrid Sundberg, 2014, on her blog

The Color Thesaurus has 240 shades, each with its own name. Sundberg is also currently working on producing a poster version which kids, writers, designers, educators, and all color lovers can hang up on their walls.


white, pearl, alabaster, snow, ivory, cream, egg shell, cotton, chiffon, salt, lace, coconut, linen, bone, daisy, powder, frost, porcelain, parchment, rice

tan, beige, macaroon, hazel wood, granola, oat, egg nog, fawn, sugar cookie, sand, sepia, latte, oyster, biscotti, parmesan, hazelnut, sandcastle, buttermilk, sand dollar, shortbread

yellow, canary, gold, daffodil, flaxen, butter, lemon, mustard, corn, medallion, dandelion, fire, bumblebee, banana, butterscotch, dijon, honey, blonde, pineapple, tuscan sun

orange, tangerine, marigold, cider, rust, ginger, tiger, fire, bronze, cantaloupe, apricot, clay, honey, carrot, squash, spice, marmalade, amber, sandstone, yam

red, cherry, rose, jam, merlot, garnet, crimson, ruby, scarlet, wine, brick, apple, mahogany, blood, sangria, berry, currant, blush, candy, lipstick

pink, rose, fuchsia, punch, blush, watermelon, flamingo, rouge, salmon, coral, peach, strawberry, rosewood, lemonade, taffy, bubblegum, ballet slipper, crepe, magenta, hot pink

purple, mauve, violet, boysenberry, lavender, plum. magenta, lilac, grape, periwinkle, sangria, eggplant, jam, iris, heather, amethyst, raisin, orchid, mulberry, wine

blue, slate, sky, navy, indigo, cobalt, teal,ocean, peacock, azure, cerulean, lapis, spruce, stone, aegean, berry, denim, admiral, sapphire, arctic

green, chartreuse, juniper, sage, lime, fern, olive, emerald, pear, moss, shamrock, seafoam, pine, parakeet, mint, seaweed, pickle, pistachio, basil, crocodile

brown, coffee, mocha, peanut, carob, hickory, wood, pecan, walnut, caramel, gingerbread, syrup, chocolate, tortilla, umber, tawny, brunette, cinnamon, penny, cedar

grey, shadow, graphite, iron, pewter, cloud, silver, smoke, slate, anchor, ash, porpoise, dove, fog, flint, charcoal, pebble, lead, coin, fossil

black, ebony, crow, charcoal, midnight, ink, raven, oil, grease, onyx, pitch, soot, sable, jet black, coal, metal, obsidian, jade, spider, leather


Although not an official color guide, the Color Thesaurus helps us easily identify a specific color shade with simple yet figurative words that best describe them.