Straightforward or complicated, subtle or brash, warm or cool – colour has many faces. Because of this, it’s a hard thing to define.

If you turn to a dictionary in hopes of some clarification, you’ll find a definition similar to this: 

1. an attribute of things that results from the light they reflect, transmit or emit in so far as this light causes a visual sensation that depends on its wavelengths.

Not terribly helpful, is it?

It becomes easier to define colour when you take a closer look at its origins, history and meanings. And let’s not forget those who create, communicate or influence through colour – there’s lots to learn from them too. 

COLOUR STUDIES is intended to be an exploration – so please join me as I examine these elements, and others, from the engrossing and informative world of colour. 




Essays:  in depth entries 

Back Story:  the stories behind “colourful” people, places & things

Art & Design:  people playing with colour

Science & Nature:  colour in its purest form

Noteworthy:  recent news about colour

Word Origins:  the etymology of “colourful” words 

Gallery:  my own photographs

Name-dropping: unusual names given to colours

Charts + Guides: Found colour references



What people are saying about COLOUR STUDIES:

”Bob has a wickedly curious eye. He sees things most others miss. That's why I love his COLOUR STUDIES blog. He connects all the colourful dots we've missed.“    Terry O’Reilly,  CBC's Under the Influence                                                                                                                                    


“Like breathing, colour is one of those things that affects us very deeply but to which we give little conscious attention. COLOUR STUDIES brings the language of colour to the forefront and explores it with the benefit of Bob’s refined eye and sharp wit.”     Mary Jane Braide, Brand Consultant                                                                                                                                                                     


“ …absolutely enthralling.”    James Chatto, Food & Drink                                                                                                                                                                               


“Bob takes us along for a ride by explaining colour in an approachable, entertaining and downright fun way.”            Cobi Ladner, Cobistyle


“For anyone interested in design but not schooled in the intricacies and nuances of colour, COLOUR STUDIES is a brilliant and entertaining cornucopia of insights and wisdom.“     Roger Martin, Author & Institute Director, Martin Prosperity Institute.