People with synesthesia have some pretty remarkable abilities. When they hear music, they might pick up on a unique scent. Or, they might hear a name and see a color. Experiencing one sense via another isn’t something everyone is lucky enough to experience, but if you’re curious about what color your name is, a new tool at Synesthesia.me can do that, and it has people absolutely obsessed.
For instance, my name, Jennifer, is a mix of purple, green, yellow, white, and orange. That’s because each letter of the alphabet tends to represent a different color. The more letters you have repeated in your name, the greater a specific hue will represent your name as a whole.
Bernadette Sheridan, the creator behind the tool who experiences grapheme-color synesthesia, is quick to point out that the color alphabet in the tool is based on her own personal associations. Everyone with the trait experiences it differently, so while Bernadette may see the letter e as a golden yellow color, another person may see it as green or pink. However, she points out that certain letters have pretty universal color associations, like red for the letter A.
One of the most interesting things Sheridan learned while creating her synesthesia color name tool was how all the colors she sees work in tandem. “What I love most about this project is that it allows me to see not just the individual letters, but actual composed illustrations of names I hear every day,” she wrote in a Medium post. “As I was building the site, I was repeatedly struck by how “right” the names looked once I had them displayed in front of me. Over and over, names just seemed to jump out at me as being so perfectly right.”
She added that the way a name sounds literally has nothing to do with the colors associated with it. A name doesn’t have to sound the way it’s spelled for it to have a very specific color palette, and that’s pretty awesome.
Sheridan added that she enjoyed seeing how often someone’s name color palette generated by her synesthesia tool matches a user’s personality. Whether or not you believe your chart represents all depends – you’ll have to try it yourself and find out.