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.