Tracy HolmesComment

During last week's virtual trek to Nepal, I featured two colours from the BTC deck. The first was 203, a fresh Tint from the Yellow family, Samunnat's pick for Colour of the Year; and the second was 131, the muted meeting place of Magenta and light Grey, Sammunnat's Dress Code. Here they are side by side, the colours and their codes:

This 3-digit code system is unique to BTC, a numerical notation that I designed to define, track, and reference every colour in the deck of 216 cards. But every card also has a Hex Code, borrowed from the hexadecimal system used to discern computer-rendered colours within a collection of 16,777,216. I used the Hex Codes for 203 and 131 to create this:

50% #99D36A and 50% #C8608C, no tags

This is Multicolr Search Lab, a fun little page from TinEye Labs, a Canadian-based image search company. Here's how they describe it:

We extracted the colors from 20 million Creative Commons images on Flickr to make the images searchable by color. Enjoy! MulticolorEngine is addictive and very likely the best color search engine in the world!

Addictive, for sure, so don't click through unless you have some time to spare. Really. Additive. You have been warned.

Here's how it works. You pick a palette of up to five different colours (there's a colour picker grid of 256 colours to get you started, but you can refine them using Hex Codes). You can then adjust the ratio of each colour (more of one, less of others), and you can add tags to filter your results. For my mosaic, I kept it simple: 50% #99D36A and 50% #C8608C, no tags. Not surprisingly, most of the search results were flowers, a gorgeous bouquet of foxglove, hibiscus, iris, rain lily, magnolia, azalea, orchid, hydrangea, lotus flower... with some origami, a pair of flip flops, and a smiling stuffie named Happy Chuck added to the mix (there's even a cat photo, because the web, and cats...).


Go through your Colour Cards (the Basics deck and/or the BTC boxed set) and pick yourself a palette. Best to start simple... maybe even just pick one colour. Then go here and enter your colour(s). Start with your best guess from the Multicolr grid, and then refine it with the Hex Code. You'll find the Hex Code in the bottom right corner of the Code Side of every BTC Colour Card, as shown here:
Within seconds, the page will fill in with flickr photos featuring your palette. Adjust the ratios and see how the mosaic changes. Add a new colour, or take one away. This can be a great way to see your colours interacting, and to experiment with different ways to emphasize or balance colours within a palette. Click on any of the images to learn more about them and find their source. Is there a theme to the images? Do images appear more than once? This might add insight to how popular your picks are on the web, or what they are likely to evoke, based on what and where they are.

Have fun, happy searching, but remember: really addictive... and watch out for cats.