Colour: Is it a cultural thing?

22 Oct

“It’s blue.”

“No, it’s purple.”

“Whatever, it’s so blue!  There’s not a SPECK of purple in it!”

Aaron and I have had this argument a million times in the nearly 6 years (well, we gave it back for a couple years when we lived in the city, but you get my  point) we’ve owned the little Suzuki Swift Cino.

“I’ll just look up the colour in the manual.  Or papers.  Or something.  I’ll look.  I’ll find it, and it will say blue, you’ll see!”  I looked.  I didn’t find it anywhere.  I even googled it.  I couldn’t find the original manufacture colours anywhere.  So, I did what all rational people do: I started polling people.



“Oh, you mean the purple car?”

That didn’t go so well.  Surely I can’t be partially colour blind, can I?

Suddenly, I came to the realisation that the only people I’ve asked (the only people available to ask) are Australians.  So what if colour is a cultural thing?  Maybe, just maybe, some hues are so close that in some cultures/regions/countries, they are viewed as one colour, and in other places, the view is slightly different.  Maybe I’m not colour blind after all.

I put it to you, what colour is this car:

Blue or Purple?

169 Responses to “Colour: Is it a cultural thing?”

  1. YAYA Trish October 22, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    When you see it in real life it looks more purple but the photos make it look bluer than it really is.


    HAPPY BIRTHDAY AARON AND GRAMS!!! xox xox xox xox xox

    • Lòt Poto-a October 25, 2010 at 4:12 am #

      According to the polls, that car is Blue.

  2. YAYA Trish October 22, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    Sheri, you are very clever to have put these three polls up…how did you find out how to do that?!
    Lots of love
    YAYA X

  3. YAYA Trish October 22, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    Grams the garden looks nice! Love Trish x Have a lovely birthday tommorrow.

  4. runtobefit October 23, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    Blue…it is so blue. Blue like the sky on a perfect day. Yup…it’s blue.

  5. CrystalSpins October 23, 2010 at 2:18 am #

    It is interesting that you have picked up on the cultural difference. Based on the results of the pols Australians clearly think the hue of your car is very close to purple. Very interesting.

    To my American eye, it isn’t even close to purple on a color wheel. Maybe you should get out a color wheel and have Australians mark where they would say blue ends and purple begins.


    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

      That’s a good idea. I’m still curious about the whole thing, so I might just do that.

  6. drivingmsmiranda October 23, 2010 at 2:36 am #


    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    Looks like your assumptions might be spot on (based on the results of your polls so far). I chose blue, but only because of the second pic. In the first one it looks purple.

    My car, a Subaru WRX, has the colour Java Black Pearl. Sounds exotic, but really it’s just black … until the sun hits it, then it turns a golden brown. So, maybe your car transforms in different lighting/weather and settings.

    The Suzuki Chameleon Swift Cino … ooh.

    Drive on,
    – M.

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

      How funny, we just got a Subaru WRX in black. I don’t think it’s Java Black Pearl though.

  7. Mikalee Byerman October 23, 2010 at 2:36 am #

    My ex and I ALWAYS had the “blue or purple” debate. There must be some physical aspect of the eye (the cones translate color, right?) that makes one lean one way or the other…

    And no, I do not believe this debate caused my ex to become my ex…


  8. Lindsay October 23, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    HAHAHAHA This had me smiling! I’m an American and I voted blue!

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

      🙂 I like to make people smile 🙂

  9. notesfromrumbleycottage October 23, 2010 at 3:39 am #

    My old minivan would get a purple tinge to it and the official color was Patriot Blue. You just never know for sure, do you?

  10. archiegrrl October 23, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    Congrats on being Fresh Pressed!

    Color is *totally* cultural. Whether there’s a difference between American and Australian conceptions of color, I don’t know. But when I was in the Peace Corps, there were several colors of turquoise or light blue that American would definitely put in the blue camp, but that the local people would call green. It’s all about where you draw the line, since if you look at the color spectrum, the colors all bleed into one another.

    Also, there are differences in color perception between women and men, with women typically able to make finer distinctions than men. As an archaeologist, we have to use a particular book to describe soil colors when we dig, and my former boss always made sure a woman did it, so that the results would be more accurate.

    Finally, my Ford Escort is gray, but my husband insists it’s blue. I still can’t understand why. *smile*

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

      I have to tell my husband that women are able to make finer distinctions than men!! He said “hey, don’t lie.” Haha. Men….

  11. gothichydran126 October 23, 2010 at 4:05 am #

    Well…coming from my perspective…the car would be a Persian blue or leaning towards blue violet. It looks mostly blue but it also has a violet hue in it. Sorry for the weird talk, I remembered this from taking color theory at art school.

  12. stoptheinvasionoforegon October 23, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    I would say it is a cobalt blue with a dash of crimson red which tilts it towards violet.
    yep ,it’s violet. Purple is purple and cannot be mistaken for blue but violet can.
    think periwinkle blue which is blue and white with a dash of red

  13. She.Is.Just.A.Rat October 23, 2010 at 4:14 am #

    I think that colour is known as cornflower blue. At least Crayola might call it such…that’s coming from a Canadian…

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

      Cornflower blue. I like it. Are cornflowers actually blue?

      • She.Is.Just.A.Rat October 23, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

        I’ve no idea actually. But it sounds nice… 😉

  14. wadingacross October 23, 2010 at 4:24 am #

    Light has a strong role in how color is perceived. Auto color schemes are also often shades of grey so to speak, a multiple mixture of several colors. Heck, just go to the paint section of your local hardware store as an example.

    Also, some auto paint styles are specifically intended to bring out different colors depending upon the angle and light. More often than not, you’ll see this done at body shops, but I’ve seen enough funky factory paint jobs that it wouldn’t surprise me to know that factories can do it too.

    The “problem” occurs when you start getting into the tertiary colors – secondary being a blending of two primaries, tertiary a primary and a secondary. Take your car as an example. From the photo, I’d say blue, but I can see a hint of purple in it. Paint manufacturers love creating names for their color blends, but technically your car’s paint job might be described as blue-violet, or blue-blue-violet.

    I’ve often had discussions about the name of a color with my wife or friends… and I have a modicum of artistic ability and background. I don’t think it’s necessarily culture, but genetics and environment (light, eye strength, etc.)

    That said, when I saw the post title on Fresh Pressed I thought it most certainly would be about cultural color schemes… and there does seem to be some consistency in this. I have seen quite a number of rather garish looking vehicles on the road and I cannot fathom how the owners find the colors pretty. Then again, I have rather subdued tastes – which is maybe why I never completed art as a college degree (couldn’t stand the sub-culture and mindset as well as program).

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

      Interesting. When my husband first said the car was purple, I started to really look at it. I looked at it at night, in the full sun, in the shade, in the rain (while I was in the house…), etc, but I never saw a hint of purple. We could be sitting side by side looking at it and he’d say purple, I’d say blue. I even inspected the paint close up to see if it had sparkly purple flecks in it (it doesn’t). I think I’ve just confused the issue more with the post, but i’d laugh if the factory colour was called Violet-blue or blue-violet. Actually, I kind of hope it is, that way we’d both be right. Who am I kidding, I want to be right, I want it to be called blue. Plain old simple blue.

  15. Samantha October 23, 2010 at 4:49 am #

    This is hilarious. I’ve had similar conversations (in the US if that helps) over the purple/blue color. However from the picture it looks almost like an Indigo blue which is a cross between purple and blue.

  16. mathisworks October 23, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    I’ll make it even more complicated for you: All my New York friends knew I had a blue VW Golf a few years back. Then a girl from the US west coast called it purple. I had to sell it after that.

  17. spiralmewtrix October 23, 2010 at 4:59 am #

    Totally looks blue in the photos. My boyfriend has a hard time telling the difference between purple and blue, though.

  18. david October 23, 2010 at 5:17 am #


    I’m French.
    I voted purple but in fact I realize it’s more blue.
    I think it’s a blue that has a lot of red in it, hence the confusion.

  19. pommelstone October 23, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    It looks blue to me…

  20. livvy30 October 23, 2010 at 5:31 am #

    This is so a blue car! (I’m Irish by the way!) Could it be a language thing? When my boyfriend and I were crossing the border from Canada to the US, the policeman asked me if I was travelling alone. I said I was travelling with the guy in the “navy” and pointed to my boyfriend. He immediately asked me questions about the Irish Navy! I told him I had meant the colour navy. He looked confused and just said “oh, you mean blue!” So I guess people have different understandings of what a colour is.

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

      Haha. I’m just picturing a funny confused Canadian right now…..

  21. Black Coffee & Bourbon October 23, 2010 at 5:38 am #

    Your car is clearly blue. I have no idea how anyone would say that is purple! It’s not even close to purple! Jeez. 🙂

  22. fa October 23, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    I wonder if its a gender thing. My mom and dad always have arguments on colors 🙂

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

      Hmmm…maybe, but my favourite colour is purple, so I would think that if it were genderal (that’s not a word, but that’s not the point), I would say it’s purple, and my husband would say it’s blue. Although maybe I’d say it’s blue because if it were actually purple, it’s not a nice purple.

      • fa October 27, 2010 at 12:40 am #

        btw, your baby is adorable. 🙂

      • photosheri October 27, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

        Thanks, I think so 🙂

  23. ragrobyn October 23, 2010 at 5:45 am #

    It’s Blue. It’s as plain as day – BLUE 🙂

  24. pltprincess October 23, 2010 at 5:57 am #

    Definitely looks blue to me! But I will have to hedge that a bit and say ‘blue with a tinge of purple in the mix” if I what to be truthful.

  25. The muckery of Ava Aston October 23, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    Nice blog today! I vote blue!

    Thanks for sharing.


  26. Andreas Moser October 23, 2010 at 6:07 am #

    The results so far seem to suggest an Australian tendency towards purpleness indeed.
    From Europe, it looks very blue!

  27. jbeath October 23, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    That is sooooo obvious I can’t believe you have not figured this out. It is Blurple!


  28. lifeintheboomerlane October 23, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Funny that both Yanks and Aussies choose blue but in totally different percentages.

  29. belleofthecarnival October 23, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    Definitely Burple!

  30. perfectperfectionist October 23, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    It’s BLUE!!! Blue blue blue! (I like your Dad’s answer a lot though.)
    I’ve had this argument so many times with my boyfriend, over a tshirt he had. I said it was brown, he said it was green, and eventually I hid it until he agreed with me that it was brown.
    Congrats on getting pressed 🙂

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

      haha, that made me laugh a lot. I read it to my husband, and he thought that was pretty funny too.

  31. Patrick October 23, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    Hello there. I’m from Argentina. That car is blue!

  32. lurkertype October 23, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    It looks like blue is winning by a landslide, even in Australia.

  33. Aiman Amani October 23, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    Hello. I was cruising along WordPress’s freshly pressed when I saw your post here. Congratulations on that. 🙂

    I’ve never thought that colours could be cultural. However, I’m an Asian and the way I see it, it doesn’t have the slightest blue hue on it. It seems interesting that people of other cultures could see it as a different colour. I glanced at the result of your poll and there it was, almost 30% of Australians voted for purple when less than 10% of both American and other nationalities voted for purple.

    I bade you good luck on your journey of discovering the colour of your 6 years old car 😉

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

      Thanks 🙂 It’s interesting, but it does seem to be cultural. Who would have thought?? Thanks for reading!

  34. Terry Collmann October 23, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Are you, perhaps, one of those minority of women who is a tetrachromat and who thus sees colours differently, and in greater numbers, to the majority of people?

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

      Hmmm…I’d like to think so…. I showed the article to my husband who said “but you don’t think it’s purple, so you must see less colours, not more!” Haha. Very interesting though.

  35. Ann October 23, 2010 at 10:28 am #


    Colors are cultural. In some Asian cultures, there’s little to no distinction made between blue and green. I’ve read that several cultures (mainly in Africa) consider blue and black the same color.

    People who live in very sunny locales seem less likely to describe a color as gray compared to those of use who are comfortable living under cloud cover for several months. I own two pairs of pants that some Floridians and Coloradans insist are green, yet I don’t see the color as anything but gray.

    There are various comfort levels with every color. I think Americans generally prefer “blue” over “purple” when the color could be either, and that likely stems from red having more negative connotations. For example, pink (light red) is “girly”, bright red is “aggressive” or tiresome, and deep red symbolized certain religions and is reminiscent of drying blood.

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

      Wow, that’s really interesting. Who knew that colour is so subjective?

  36. Ms. H October 23, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    It definitely looks blue to both of us sitting here on my couch. However, to be fair, photos on a computer screen are not always true to the color of the actual object… Not living in Australia, I can’t pop over and check it out in person. Sorry!

  37. Ann October 23, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    I say it is lilac, or better yet, lavender.

    It is too light to be either purple or blue.

    On the othe hand, it is too dark to be powder blue.

    (I am from America, Texas that is 😉

  38. Ann October 23, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Oh, and I agree. . . .colour is most definitely a cultural thing.

    Nice blog, quite a refereshing respite 🙂

  39. michiscope October 23, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    You’ve been asking the wrong Australians! Looks to me like blue in that picture. But then again, sometimes the angle and lighting alter the shade slightly.

    Though if you REALLY want to know what colour it is, go to your local Autobarn and check out the touch up sprays. They have the colour names on them.

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

      Great idea! I didn’t know such touch up strays existed (I am female…).

  40. Mr.Pandc October 23, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    This one is pretty obvious blue.


  41. The Perfectly Imperfect One October 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Can’t I just call it Blurple? Because the first picture it looks purple but the second one looks blue.

  42. lostdmw October 23, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    hahaha…awesome post! I’m always arguing what color things are with people. But then, I keep it simple. My cousin insists his room is “oyster shell” and I walk in and bluntly state “um, seriously? it’s gray” and that argument took about 5 minutes of my life and I had to drag in a bunch of guys to back me up. Needless to say he got a notch taken out of his “man card” for arguing over a color lol. Good luck winning the argument, you could always hold up a true blue and true purple against the car and see which is closer? maybe?

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

      That’s a really good idea. I think I’ll try that.

  43. shane3x October 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    It looks blue to me, although it is very close to the edge of being purple.

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

      Interesting. What country are you from? Just curious as I still think it may be a cultural thing.

  44. sexymonkeya October 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm #


  45. mew October 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    It looks mighty blue to me…

  46. Roland October 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    More than one quarter of voting Aussies declared this car as being purple, so I assume that it might not only be a lingual perception issue but also a genetic color perception “disorder”. I don’t want to sound rude though to Australians.
    For me as an European it is clearly blue, you might call it a “cornflower blue”. Van Gogh indulged in this color in later works.

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

      someone else also said it looks like “cornflower blue,” so I think you might be on to something.

  47. Leatherworking Reverend October 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    I think it’s a property of the ambient light conditioning us to see particular colours. I live in Australia and most noticed this in the US, but have seen it in the UK as well. I may not be qualified to really comment, though because I think the 1996 Commodores in Pacific Blue are really green and have had arguments about my green Liberty that people think is black.

  48. elias saman October 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    It is more or less cultural…
    but do we all see the same?

  49. fattimah October 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    I once had a lengthy argument with a friend about whether a kettle was pink or white. It was clearly pink and I’d gotten to the stage where I was feeling deranged. And then his girlfriend told me that he was colourblind. Awkward silence.

    Anyway, that car is clearly blue. And that’s from an Australian.

  50. Tooty Nolan October 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    I have a purple Proton Iswara – according to my owners log and my sisiter’s eyes – except it’s actually blue. Before that I had a purple Renault Twingo, which everyone egrees was the most PURPLE purple imaginable – except in every photograph of it it’s completely blue. Weird stuff. Thank goodness so far no has sugested that my blue Toyota is purple.

  51. Tooty Nolan October 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    I have a purple Proton Iswara – according to my owners log and my sisiter’s eyes – except it’s actually blue. Before that I had a purple Renault Twingo, which everyone agrees was the most PURPLE purple imaginable – except in every photograph of it it’s completely blue. Weird stuff. Thank goodness so far no has sugested that my blue Toyota is purple.

    • photosheri October 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

      Haha, I’d really like to know what the manufacture colour is actually called. Maybe I’ll never know.

  52. Tooty Nolan October 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Wow – how’d I manage to post that twice?

  53. erintyner October 24, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    I voted Blue, but my husband looked at the computer over my shoulder and said “Purple”. He and I disagree on colors all the time! I’m curious what the differences are between men and women and what color they think this car is.

  54. ryoko861 October 24, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    I’m seeing blue.

    Call a dealership. Tell them the model and year. Someone there should know. If not, don’t buy any more cars from them.

  55. Prashant October 24, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    Interesting little debate you have here. The best way to settle it is to first define the colours “blue” and “purple”.

    Now here is a purple car:

    And, here is a blue car:

    Verdict: Your car is a beautiful blue.

    (Culture question: I am a guy in India)

  56. John October 24, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    Barney the Dinosaur *shudder* is purple. That car is blue.

  57. vanillasense October 24, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    its also a matter about the way light falls on it. In the first picture. i just see a streak of purple on the car. I’m Indian, and the car looks like a shade of blue to me.

  58. Tony October 24, 2010 at 5:12 am #

    Does being Tasmanian give me a different cultural colour perspective to the Australianse from the big north island??? It sure looks blue to me

  59. eeburrah October 24, 2010 at 5:42 am #

    it looks like periwinkle to me.

  60. Carlos Daniel Lasa October 24, 2010 at 6:36 am #

    Hi! =) Such amazing thing! Your blog has become very popular with this post! =) Haha! I’m from Argentina, and the car… IT’S BLUE!!! =)

  61. michaeleriksson October 24, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    There has been some research into this and there does appear to be a cultural component to what colours are recognized as distinct. The statements I have seen, however, have been conflicting, with no clear statement on e.g. ability to differ between nuances vs merely having the same name for several nuances.

    More generally, someone who has reason to know of different nuances by different names is likely to have a sharper perception for small differences, e.g. in that an interior decorator is more likely to correctly identify a certain colour as “off white” or “egg shell” than the man on the street.

    (Not to be forgotten is the obvious possibility that different variations of a language could have slightly different terminology with regard to colours. Gray horses?)

  62. augustin October 24, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    It’s Burple.

  63. eveliengroen October 24, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    I’m Dutch, and I say it’s totally BLUE!! A very nice kind of blue!
    Isn’t it common knowledge that men are color blind? 😉

  64. Bill October 24, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    Looks like Cobalt Blue to me which is Blue with just a touch of Red pigment in it to make it lean to the Purple but not enough to make it a true Purple. :-).

  65. Medina Tenour Whiteman October 24, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    My husband is convinced his black trousers are actually blue. I just think he isn’t looking at them properly.

  66. Bipolar Pensante October 24, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    Hey, I´m Brazilian, and it´s blue… but I think it´s dark! lol
    Good luck!

  67. elevencupcakes October 24, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    I’m so happy to see this post because I always seem to see the purple in blues that other people don’t seem to see. Apparently, I’m not alone. And that’s just good to know.

  68. akuyume October 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    I don’t really think this is exactly a “cultural” thing, by reading the description of the problem of deciding if a car were blue or purple only, I had a pretty good image what color the car would be in my head. I think this is probably more personal, I’ve had similar discussions to this with other people about shades of BLUE very similar to this one. 🙂 Of course lighting and angle probably play a part as well.

  69. A Deaf Pundit October 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    In the first picture, it looks blue with a tinge of purple in it. In the 2nd picture, it’s totally blue. So it depends on the lighting and such. This is coming from an American. 🙂

  70. My Camera, My Friend October 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Very interesting. I never thought culture would be such a factor in how we define color.

  71. sakura October 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    It doesn’t matter but the color is plain blue

  72. smcgamer October 24, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    It’s a bit darker than sky blue.

  73. oviplaton October 24, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Generic colour is blue. Maybe purple if you want to be more specific

  74. KTG October 24, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    I live in Japan and here they call a green traffic light “blue.” And I have quite often heard green referred to as blue by Japanese people.

    I thought it was a genetic thing; something with the rods and cones–or the light permitted in the eye.

    Perhaps it is cultural though.

    I am American and I think your car is blue although it has a purple hue.

    • photosheri October 25, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

      My mind is boggling….how do they see green as blue. Or maybe they are just taught that green is called blue. Interesting.

  75. virtuallydee October 24, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    i am not very sure if what we see in the picture is exactly the same in real life because lighting changes color rendition a lot. but based on the picture it is blue. (i am filipino by the way) but i am a designer as well. and i want to believe that i have my sense of colors correct. 🙂 now, if people will argue it is purple… hmmm… it will be more accurate if they’ll say it is violet as violet has more blue in it unlike purple which has more red.

    just to add though, certain colors are actually mixed with other colors to get a certain hue. some blues need a bit of black, white and red to reach a certain blue. based on this, some people may see the red in the blue more and think it is violet (or purple as they say). 🙂 nice idea of making the polls though! cheers!

  76. Jil Jil Ramamani October 24, 2010 at 8:05 pm #

    Very interesting! I’ve had similar cultural conflicts regarding what exactly constitutes ‘indigo’.

  77. batikmania October 24, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    Maybe the colour is blurple :p

  78. starrypawz October 24, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    I’m UK based and I say blue. My brother and I get in blue/purople arguments a lot with stuff especially if it’s a very pale blue/purple colour. But if I saw it in ‘real life’ I’d be able to judge better as the lighting can make it look different. I’d just go it’s blueish purple to save arguments. 😛

  79. Yusra October 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm #

    Maybe you should specify your search even more. Don’t ask all Australians, simply those who grew up in your current city; state even. Maybe those in Sydney see it differently to those in Darwin?

    I saw blue, though.

  80. SHL October 24, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Windows are purple, carpaint is blue. Greetings from Poland

  81. lookingforcapemaydiamonds October 24, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    In these photographs (especially the bottom one), in that light, the car definitely looks blue. I do know just how much the light affects the color of everything. Really interesting idea, investigating color as cultural. I’ve always wondered just how we can know if your orange is the same as my orange.

  82. element119 October 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    I recommend you read up on Anti-realism, I have a feeling that this concept and your little incident here are both connected 😉

  83. bistroman October 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Are the petunias pink ? And what about the pelargoniums ?

  84. stixx October 24, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    Im a Paintshop owner of cars and i have to say its a blue colored car which is mistakenly makes it look like purple because of the mixture of paint used to form such color.. it has crystal blue and drops of yellow and myka colors that makes it glow and form touch of purple efects but its natural composition is really blue, yellow, silver crystal red myka and lots of 5 stroke topcoat to have the laminated effect and wallah its definitely blue as its major color!

  85. bistroman October 25, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    Did I say anything wrong ?

  86. Alison Warner October 25, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    Blues which are dark and intense don’t photograph true to life, I’ve had this problem on my blog with pictures of flowers of Monkshood and Morning Glory.

    I vote for blue from that photo though.

  87. pjasmine October 25, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    I think I would call it Blurple. I see blue and purple.
    I couldn’t own this color of a car because its not one or the other. I like my colors to be true.

  88. Hywel October 25, 2010 at 2:47 am #

    We had one of these Swifts, and had exactly the same argument! However, we did actually find out the official name for the colour, which is, and i quote “Reddish Blue”. Apparently its blue paint with pinky red metallic flakes in. Hope that helps!


    • photosheri October 25, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

      Haha, that colour made me laugh. My husband said “Reddish Blue? That means PURPLE!!!!” Thanks, it’s good to know the actual colour….

  89. sakurascorpion October 25, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    All I see is blue. Nothing but blue.

  90. Murren October 25, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    My husband and I (both American) have this type of argument pretty frequently. I think you’re right that it may be cultural, then again, maybe my hubby is a little color blind… hmm.

  91. M4GNuM October 25, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    Me and two of my friends say this colour is defenitely blue!
    greets from germany!

  92. American Girl October 25, 2010 at 6:59 am #

    Interesting. I’ve always had the blue/purple debate with my boyfriend. I never thought that maybe the different perceptions are because he’s from Malaysia. I’ve also had the debate with my American brother too, but that’s different, he’s colorblind. : )

  93. concostanza October 25, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    Hello! I’m Italian and I think it’s blue. Nice post!

  94. YAYA Trish October 25, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    Go to the auto paint shop in Batt Street South Penrith and ask them to check the compliance plate for the factory colour number or code. I took the car to them a few years ago to get some touch up paint. They didn’t have a colour that matched in stock and there was confusion about but they looked under the bonnet and found the colur code and ordered the touch up paint for me. I left the tube in the either in the study or in the kitchen drawer, third one down. When I went into the shop I told them I needed a purply blue colour. No one agreed on the colour. The two guys called it a different version of blue, the sales women called it purple and I called it both. I think the colour was listed as a blue by Suzuki.

  95. YAYA Trish October 25, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    I went into an art supply shop, in Byron Bay, last week to buy some blue and some purple paint to paint a picture to hang in the Twilight Villa at Sunlight Splendour. I wanted it to match the decor of the rooms which are in beautiful regal colours of royal blue, royal purple, silver and white. I chose a tube of ultramarine blue and a tube of dioxazine purple for my artwork. If you mixed these two colours together in the ratio of 3 Ultramarine blue: 1.5 Dioxazine Purple then I think you would have a colour close to the colour of the car. I perceive it as being a fair bit darker than periwinkle blue, a whole lot darker than violet and a bit more purple and darker than cornflower blue. Interestingly, the sales women at the art shop and I perceived ultramarine blue very differently, which was a surprise to me. She called it a warm blue and I called it a cool blue. To me a warm blue is a blue with a golden undertone which makes it look a little greenish, whereas a cool blue is a blue with a red undertone which makes it look purplish. When I asked her why she would call it a warm blue she said it was because it was! I asked her why it was and she said it was because it was bright and vibrant???? So I guess a cool blue to her would be dull and pale???? I really think you’re on to soething Sheri.

  96. Elia Day October 25, 2010 at 8:43 am #

    i’m asian pacific american and I’m saying blue – and a beautiful shade too.

    there’s some very interesting reading comments to your post as well, so thank you for that

  97. catfish525 October 25, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Okay that is not purple. Not purple at all. It is as blue as blue can be. Awesome polls by the way.

  98. Scott October 25, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Instead of de terming the color by nationality, it would be better to identify the color by gender. I can’t justify this, but as a general rule, I would say that a man’s knowledge of colors is as limited as a crayola crayon set made for preschoolers.

    I know this is true for me, at least.

    I say this because men generally have a very limited vocabulary when it comes down to colors, whereas women can name bizarre colors (Like YAYA Trish did above me).

    Just an observation!

  99. iShotThePilot October 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    That is the bluest car I have ever seen. Sorry….. It’s blue.

  100. Paul Murray October 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Whenever I judge the colour of something, I find myself separating it into RGB/HSB. The car has paint that does odd things in the light. It’s a dark, somewhat desaturated blue – slightly greenish. Looks about #349 to me.

    This is a test

  101. miscellaneoussheepery October 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Maybe the cultural thing is that many Australians are color blind?

  102. Morning Kryziz Bonny October 25, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Mexican here 😛 and i chose Blue
    But i saw the results and the greatest percentage who chose purple are indeed australians, so my guess is that their color blindness (i’m saying that percentage has color blindness because they are the minority in the results) is due to heritage. Maybe that percentage are linked in some way by blood.
    It would be interesting to know if you have the same problematic with other colors around there 🙂

    • photosheri October 25, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

      Interesting, I hadn’t thought of it as an inherited colour blindness thing. Could be. We’ve seen that in Aboriginals who are much more prone to and have higher instances of diabetes.

  103. amna October 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    It is a very interesting post, but..
    If you ask people about a color like yellow or orange this theory of yours will become quite irrelevant..A yellow will be yellow for everyone except if you add some orange to it and make it a little bit mustardy and then ask everyone if its yellow or mustard..hmm
    so the car is blue but its not a true blue someone said that it has a tiny bit of red in it..I am an artist and I use this particular shade of blue to paint sky and water etc. It is called cobalt blue. So in a way those who say its red arent wrong either..for them the red is probably more pronounced.

    PS: and yes it comes down to light too. Look at a color in a yellow light, natural light, and white light and see the difference yourself.

  104. Decci October 25, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    I’m Indonesian. The car in the first photos is exactly purple but the second one looks somehow blue. I know that that is the same car though.

    it’s also a matter about the way light falls on it (vanillasense) —–> I do agree.

  105. thelostplace October 25, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    I’m taking a Language and Culture class in college and we were learning about this very thing, that different cultures (and people within a single culture) perceive colors differently.

    It’s pretty interesting. Me and my girlfriend oftentimes think something is a different color too, and because of this:

    There is nothing within something that makes it blue or purple. It is how we define it ourselves.

    • michaeleriksson October 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

      “There is nothing within something that makes it blue or purple. It is how we define it ourselves.”

      That is a dangerous over-simplification: The colour in a truer sense is comparatively well-defined and dependent on the object. What lies in the observer is the subjective perception of this more absolute characteristic and the decision of what words have what meaning.


      1. “dangerous”? Because there is an unfortunate tendency in many of the softer sciences to not make a distinction between the world as it is and the world as it is observed—sometimes even to the point that the “truth” is adapted to what it “should” be.

      2. “comparatively well-defined”? Defining and measuring the colour of light from a scientific point of view is easy. The colour of an object, in contrast, underlies some room for discussion and can, depending on the definition and for a “tricky” object, be too dependent on external circumstances to clearly identify. Some objects may even lack a permanent colour. The colour can still, however, be considered a characteristic of the object.


  106. Susie @newdaynewlesson October 25, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    Definately blue. Have no idea what is wrong with your husband lol.

  107. drivinsideways October 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    It is “burple”.

    I had one of those, in that exact color. (I loved it BTW). If you park it near something purple it looks totally blue. Then, park it next to anything BLUE and everybody sees it as purple.

  108. Pierce Minor October 25, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    That car is definitely purple! But then again, it could be… blue? LOL.

  109. barrycyrus October 25, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    It’s blue! 🙂

    And I’m from Asia. 😉

  110. queeenvk October 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    I voted blue (I’m Aussie). It’s more indigo than anything though.
    Maybe it looks more purple in real life? Not everything translates well in photos.

    ps. I used to get hung up on that lime green colour being called yellow. It’s obviously green!!

    • photosheri October 26, 2010 at 6:35 am #

      How could someone think lime green is yellow??????? It is obviously green!!! That’s funny!

  111. mysenf October 25, 2010 at 10:08 pm #

    Though many people seem to distrust wikipedia it can often give you a start of an idea:
    Different cultures and languages play a role but distinctions can happen on a smaller scale too, and I’m citing from my native language german:
    red cabbage (Rotkraut) is called blue cabbage (Blaukraut) in some parts of the country whereas everyone (?) would agree that it is in fact purple. But to some it looks more reddish and to others more bluish.
    This is what my wife and I argue about.
    Who is right? Wrong question after all. As long as the children eat it 🙂

    • photosheri October 26, 2010 at 6:34 am #

      haha! P.s. the cabbage is purple!

  112. everyothergirl October 25, 2010 at 10:20 pm #

    Hi, I’m from South Africa and your car is most definitely blue! It looks like you’re winning! Congratulations!

    • photosheri October 26, 2010 at 6:32 am #

      You would think so, but he just says the photos make it look blue which is why everyone is voting blue. I’m going to have to find out the actual colour (thanks to responses, I know how to now). Thanks for reading!

  113. Oscar Belmont October 25, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    I have got a car definitely in purple colour under the sun. However it turns into blue when it is cloudy or rainy. I enjoy both colours on the same car very much.

  114. Katie/Kitt October 25, 2010 at 11:34 pm #

    ’tis blurple.

  115. Badgerwife October 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    It is definitely blue to my French eyes!

  116. sartenada October 26, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Blue, of course blue. Are there other colors also? LOL.

    Here is my blue car, deep blue and offiacially its color is called Arden Blue.

    Happy blogging.

    • photosheri October 26, 2010 at 6:30 am #

      Your car looks gray. Haha, just kidding. I like your first car photo the best. Very nice. I should have done something nice like that for my shot. But I had no idea that I’d be freshly pressed and have so many people looking at it!!!

  117. andresc78 October 26, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    looking at the blue car.

  118. jjcreativos October 26, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    the picture isn’t the best one to decide, however, i voted BLUE!

  119. 4myskin October 26, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    Why isn’t blueish-purple an option? lol

    • photosheri October 26, 2010 at 6:27 am #

      because that wouldn’t win me the argument…. haha

  120. eat-laugh-love-anon October 26, 2010 at 2:32 am #

    You know, in Vietnamese, the same word is used for blue and green (xanh). So maybe you should add a poll asking if the car is green. It might be one way to win the argument!

  121. bookjunkie October 26, 2010 at 2:47 am #

    I voted for blue but I see tinges of purple in it.

  122. bookjunkie October 26, 2010 at 2:48 am #

    great social experiment though 🙂

  123. elizabethlacy October 26, 2010 at 3:10 am #

    I’ve had issues with the blue/purple line before, but even among my own culture.

    What you’re experiencing is a very common issue in linguistic anthropology.

  124. Paula Bailey October 26, 2010 at 3:11 am #

    I blogged about a similar problem with Turquoise recently. Some see blue, some see green.

    Congrats on being Pressed.

  125. Grace October 26, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    It’s definitely blue!

    This is an interesting post; I wonder why Australians are the most likely to see the car as purple.

  126. Fiona L October 27, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    In the flesh, this car is Purple. In the photos, it could be mistaken for blue. (a sly tool on your behalf Sheri? hehe. There is some definite “I took these with the shadows on them to make it lok more blue” there.)
    However, I have seen it in the flesh and am 100% with Aaron. It is purple. A purple that is closer to the blue end of the spectrum than red, but nevertheless, purple.
    We had this argument over my old Excel being blue or green. I pulled out the papers to prove to Scott it was indeed blue. Victory was mine! hehe.

    Enjoy gloating to Aron. Even if he is right. 😛 haha.

    • photosheri October 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

      Haha, there was no trickery on my behalf. I took one photo in direct sunlight, the other in the shade so that no one could say my photos are biased. Nice try though.
      P.S. I think I remember your car being teal (however that colour is spelt)? Anyway, it was more green than blue!!!

  127. Fiona L October 27, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Make that Aaron. with two As. I can’t Type.

  128. LBcruiseshipblogger March 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    Looks like blue wins in every country including Australia


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