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Lexichrome: Lexical Discovery with Word-Color Associations


Chris K. Kim, Christopher Collins, Uta Hinrichs, Saif M. Mohammad

Based on word-colour associations from a comprehensive, crowdsourced lexicon, we present Lexichrome: a web application that explores the popular perception of relationships between English words and eleven basic colour terms using interactive visualization. Lexichrome provides three complementary visualizations: “Palette” presents the diversity of word-colour associations across the colour palette; “Words” reveals the colour associations of individual words using a dictionary-like interface; “Roget’s Thesaurus” uncovers colour association patterns in different semantic categories found in the thesaurus. Finally, our text editor allows users to compose their own texts and examine the resultant chromatic fingerprints throughout the process. We studied the utility of Lexichrome in a two-part qualitative user study with nine participants from various writing-intensive professions. We find that the presence of word-colour associations promotes awareness surrounding word choice, editorial decision, and audience reception, and introduces a variety of use cases, features, and future opportunities applicable to creative writing, corporate communication, and journalism.

Lexichrome is available for public access at



  • C. K. Kim, C. Collins, U. Hinrichs, and S. M. Mohammad, “Lexichrome: Text Construction and Lexical Discovery with Word-Color Associations Using Interactive Visualization,” 2020.


    author = {Chris K Kim and Christopher Collins and Uta Hinrichs and Saif M Mohammad},
    title = {Lexichrome: Text Construction and Lexical Discovery with Word-Color Associations Using Interactive Visualization},
    series = {Designing Interactive Systems(DIS)},
    month = {July},
    year = {2020},
    publisher = {ACM},

  • C. K. Kim and C. Collins, “Lexichrome: Examining Word-Color Associations with Visualization,” Proc. of IEEE Conf. on Information Visualization (InfoVis), 2014.


    author = {Chris K. Kim and Christopher Collins},
    title = {Lexichrome: Examining Word-Color Associations with Visualization},
    booktitle = {Proc. of IEEE Conf. on Information Visualization (InfoVis)},
    address = {Paris, France},
    series = {Poster},
    year = 2014


Thanks to Jason Boyd and Laurie Petrou. This research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).