19th Century Color Guide Is Transformed Into an Online Resource for Designers

Werner's Nomenclature of Colors Online

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Since the 19th century, Abraham Gottlob Werner's Nomenclature of Colours has been an important reference for artists, scientists, and naturalists looking to learn more about how the earth is broken into color. The incredible guide shows the myriad tints and shades that surround us and how pigments blend harmoniously together in order to create innumerable color palettes.

Nomenclature of Colours was first published in 1814 and was recently re-published by Smithsonian Books. But if you prefer a digital way to explore the resource Charles Darwin used to describe colors in nature, it's now possible to study Werner's color system online. Designer Nicholas Rougeux transformed Werner's guide into an incredible website. Here, design enthusiasts can explore 110 swatches of color from the 1821 edition of the book.

Each color lists where it's found in nature (animal, mineral, and vegetable), as well as showing the singular colors that make up the tint. There are also user-contributed images to help illustrate clearly what the colors look like in nature. “I created this project to enhance Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours by adding information that I wanted when I read the guidebook like easily jumping to any color, seeing the colors referenced in the description, and seeing photos of what Werner referenced for his descriptions of each color,” Rougeux writes.

The designer has also included scans of the 1821 Nomenclature of Colours found on the Internet Archive, which he used as his source material, as well as information on Werner's method for classifying colors. And if you're looking for something to hang on your walls, Rougeux has a full spectrum wall poster and color blending wall poster for sale.

The iconic 19th-century color guide, Werner's Nomenclature of Colours has been transformed into a beautiful website.

Werner's Nomenclature of Colors Online

All 110 colors are broken down into tonality and show pictures of the color in nature.

Werner's Nomenclature of Colors Online

Designer Nicholas Rougeux has also designed two wall posters based on Werner's color guide.

Werner's Nomenclature of Colors Online

Werner's Nomenclature of Colors Online

Werner's Nomenclature of Culture: Website
h/t: [Design Taxi]

Related Articles:

Victorian-Era Color Theory Manual Reissued for the First Time in 115 Years

Top 5 Free Color Palette Generators to Make Color Selection a Breeze

Curious About Color Mixing? Here Are the Basics You Need to Know

Vibrant Data Visualizations of Famous Classical Music Scores Burst with Color

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content