Color Impact 2023 was a great success. These pages are left here for archival purposes.

We hope to see you at a future Color Council meeting! Our next conference in June 2025.

June 11-15, 2023

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA

Keynote Speaker - Kory Stamper

Too Photography

Kory Stamper, author and lexicographer

Black, White, and Read All Over: The ISCC, Webster's Third New International Dictionary, and the Quest to Define the Rainbow

There has always been a communication gap between the color specialist and the public. Is the ball red, the color specialist asks, or does it just appear to be red? Is color a sensation? How many basic color categories are there? What effects do different colors have on the psyche, the emotions, a person’s very being? And the public blinks and asks, instead, whether “teal” is blue or green. For most of the 20th century, color specialists of all stripes have struggled to find a good way to educate the general public on developments in the field. In the 1930s, they stumbled on a surefire way to do just that: use dictionaries. But the attempt to codify color for the public ran into a significant snag. Kory Stamper shares some of her research on the intersection between 20th-century American dictionaries and the ISCC Color Standards, and the changing ways that the public’s perception of dictionaries helped (or hindered) the color cause.


Kory Stamper is an author and lexicographer whose first book, "Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries," chronicles her time as an editor at Merriam-Webster. Her writing on language has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, and the Boston Globe. She has been researching color definitions in dictionaries for a decade now, and is currently working on a book on color names, color standards, and how dictionaries contributed (or not) to the broader understanding of color among the public.

The Inter-Society Color Council advances the knowledge of color as it relates to art, science, industry and design.
Each of these fields enriches the others, furthering the general objective of color education.


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