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These Paints Can Teach You The Complexities Of Color Without Saying A Thing

SEPTEMBER 30, 2015  —  By Laura Caseley  
Laura Caseley

Laura Caseley

Laura Caseley is a New York-based writer, artist, and illustrator. When she's not writing and researching for ViralNova, you can find her working on an art project or enjoying a good cup of tea.

We've all been there. You're shopping for some new paint for your living room, and you're bombarded with hundreds of paint samples that come complete with confusing names. "Sweet whispers"? "Jazzberry"? "Springtime laughter"? None of those are colors! Can't there just be a number system or something?

All of that is a bit easier when it comes to the paints that artists use, but even those names can be a bit hard to understand sometimes. What's even harder to figure out is how these bizarrely named paints will react to each other if you mix them. That's why Japanese design studio Imai Moteki developed a system called Nameless Paints, which identifies colors by how they're made.

These paint tubes are marked with the primary colors used to make them. This takes all of those annoying names out of the equation. Can you figure out what color each tube holds?

It also makes people more aware of how to mix their own colors by using a few primaries. In pigments (inks and paints), the primary colors are magenta, yellow, and cyan.

Aside from the three primaries, black, and white, the kit comes with a variety of hues, which are all combinations of the main five.

Without labels, the paints rely on color to communicate, meaning anyone, no matter what language they speak, can use and understand the paints.

Here's the whole kit. See how many colors you can figure out!

The creators behind Nameless Paint, Yusuke Imai and Ayami Moteki, believe that labeling colors with distinct names can be confusing for children, which can discourage them from experimenting with paint.

"By not assigning names to the colors, we want to expand the definition of what a color can be, and the various shades they can create by mixing them," explains Imai.

Here are some of the paints. It's a pretty great selection, and it's also an educational one!

(via BoredPanda, My Modern Met)

The Nameless Paint kit is available for purchase on Kokuyo, and it's perfect for beginners of all ages. The kit of 10 paints sells for about $15.

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