New resource: colour database

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A couple of weeks ago Ryan Howerter posted a message in the forum to say that he had produced colour-balanced photographs of parts in nearly every LEGO colour produced along with a summary of known information about them.

Shortly afterwards, I approached Ryan to ask if I could make use of the data and images here at Brickset, to make them more accessible, and he graciously agreed. The result is a new colour browser that's linked to on the green Browse menu above.

The browser allows you to view the images by colour family (reds, blues, greens etc.), by material type (solid, transparent, metallic etc.) and also filter to view just current or retired colours.

The images are also shown on parts detail pages and parts browsing pages.

I hope you find the browser interesting, informative and, thanks to Ryan's excellent photos, attractive.

Please show Ryan your appreciation for his hard work and generosity in the comments and if you have any suggestions for improvement, let us know.

While on the subject of parts, there's another new feature on parts detail pages: A Swooshable tab that displays additional information about parst from Swooshable.com's part reference. Enjoy!

57 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Well now this is a pretty nifty new feature. I'm sure I'll be utilizing this from time to time. Thanks!

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By in Bulgaria,

Awesome. Bricklink is sure to see an uptick in orders from this as well.

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By in Malaysia,

not sure how to use it yet, but give me a reason to stay on your page for the fun of exploring colours

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By in United States,

Way cool! And loving that he has hex codes for most of the colors on his site.

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By in Poland,

This is epic, thank you both.

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By in United States,

Fun feature! Thanks a lot.

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By in Hungary,

Great idea! Tan and dark tan are in the "brown" category in my mind though.

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By in United States,

Great big huge thumbs-up for this feature! As a collector of older sets, it's always difficult to properly match colors that are long discontinued, and Lego has not seen fit to accommodate our questions on this issue.

Why are there asterisks next to some of the color names? I'm assuming that the color names in parentheses are the "Bricklink" names for the colors?

A direct link to his site in the browser, for accessing the detailed explanations, will be very helpful once this news story disappears from the front pages. Thanks Huw for making this happen on Brickset!

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By in Greece,

Superb!!!Congratulations Ryan and Huw!!!This is one of the most useful things introduced in brickset!

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By in Netherlands,

This is fantastic!!! Huge thanks to Ryan and the Brickset team! :D

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By in United Kingdom,

Great to see Ryan's hard work getting more recognition, as well as Linus's! Great stuff

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By in Venezuela,

What a nice improvement for parts page, great work!!

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By in United States,

Fantastic addition!

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By in United States,

Amazing work Ryan! Thank you for allowing this resource to be available on Brickset and much thanks to Huw for putting it together here!

I have been interested in Lego colors for a while now and I find this extremely useful and fascinating! Here are some other links that color fanatics may find interesting:

Ryan's Lego Color Timeline:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15801189140

From Clark Stephen's Isodomos.com -
Color Tree: http://isodomos.com/Color-Tree/Lego-Colors.html
Color Roots: http://isodomos.com/Color-Tree/Lego-Roots.html

From the LDraw Wiki: (This chart is good for seeing the different names and RGB values different systems use for Lego colors.)
Color Comparison Chart: http://wiki.ldraw.org/index.php?title=User:Owen_Burgoyne/LDraw_Colour_Comparison_Chart

Lego's Official Color List from 2010: (Limited selection but straight from TLG)
http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/Colour_Palette

New Elementary's Color Article: (Featuring Ryan's work.)
http://www.newelementary.com/2015/03/lego-colour-chart-reference.html

Bricklink Color Guide:
https://www.bricklink.com/catalogColors.asp

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By in Sweden,

Great! This is really useful, thank you both!

I can never remember what all these colors are called (and they tend to have different names depending where you look), so now I can finally just see what they look like :)

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for your comments.

@oldfan, the link, and now an explanation about the asterisk is on the colour browser 'home page': http://brickset.com/colours

@Yooha, the colour family comes directly from LEGO Customer Services for current colours at least. Those we didn't have official info for I had to guess.

@Brother Brain, thank you. I'll put that list on the colour browser 'home page'.

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By in United Kingdom,

Is it just me or anybody else having issues with this new feature?

Selected a colour family, it says '1 to X of X matches', but no images. Tried Chrome and Firefox, but no luck.

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By in United States,

^ I'm having the same problem.

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By in United Kingdom,

I've just managed to screw it up, bear with me...

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By in United Kingdom,

I have this issue too.

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By in United States,

^I'm having that problem too

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By in United States,

It would be nice if it were possible to easily see what designs were introduced each year; that is, if there were a page similar to http://brickset.com/parts/year-2016 only with a list of new designs for 2016.

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By in United Kingdom,

Now sorted...

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By in United States,

Wow, this is really cool - I collect several different shades of blue and cant tell if I have a particular shade as some shades are so similar. This is really helpful - thanks!

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By in United States,

@ ricecake I haven't seen this one thank you! Seems everyone comes up with their own RGB values using different methods. Even Lego can't seem to produce definitive numbers within their own organization: many Lego Digital Designer RGB values (produced by TLG) differ from the Lego Color Palate chart that TLG made available in 2010.

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By in United Kingdom,

Great work! Thanks to everyone involved in this!

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By in United States,

Am I the only one that sees the difference between today's blue and those of the 70s? I have some original space sets and the blue is noticeably different from today's blue.

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By in Germany,

Fantastic! Great photography work and a great addition to Bricklink.

Swooshable tab is neat too, it's so nice to see this kind of cooperation and interconnection between Lego fan sites.

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By in New Zealand,

This is epic! I have so much trouble with colours and this is a huge help!

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By in Australia,

This is great! Brickset just keeps getting better and better, how will you keep that up?
Thanks!

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By in United States,

This is a feature I totally would not have thought about. But it's so awesome!!!

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By in Belgium,

Wonderful! Thanks Ryan and the Brickset-team!

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By in United Kingdom,

I've added most of the links noted above to the page and also hyperlinked the BrickLink colour name to the appropriate page at BrickLink.

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By in United States,

Excellent :)

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By in United Kingdom,

I might be being a bit slow but is there a way to see all colours without having to select a filter? i.e. not just current or retired, not just one colour family, but everything?

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Not at the moment.

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By in United States,

Thank you again Huw and Ryan! This is wonderful!

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By in United Kingdom,

@Lost, you can now select 'All' in the status drop-down.

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By in United States,

In set 7772 there is a "tentacle" pice that is darker than dark blue but not black. Anyone know anything about this?

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By in United States,

Is there any way to make the U.S. version of the site say "color"?

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By in United Kingdom,

Definitely a welcome addition! Any news when this years selection of 'new' pieces will be added to the inventory? I find it very useful making online orders. Cheers

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By in United States,

@Packer221: The feelers on the lobster's mouth in 7772 are Earth Blue (Dark Blue). They may be slightly darker on your copy of the set due to plain old inconsistency, or possibly because they're a softer plastic than usual Earth Blue pieces.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Packer221, you'll have to get used to the extra u's we use on the site, I'm afraid... :-)

@Andrew85. LEGO has been publishing incomplete inventories this year and almost all new parts are omitted for some reason, so I don't know if or when they'll be added.

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By in United States,

@Aanchir : Yeah that's what I figured. It must be a strange inconsistency with the piece.

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By in United Kingdom,

@huw. Thanks. I've tried using brick link but it makes it harder to find recoloured parts.

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By in United States,

This was a ton of work and greatly appreciated. Is the team up to cataloging the evolution of molds used through the years? That would be a huge help to those of who sort bulk lots back into their original sets!

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By in United Kingdom,

Not just yet!

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By in United States,

@mooman66, there are hundreds of distinct molds for 2x4 bricks alone. That's quite a rabbit hole :)

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By in United Kingdom,

This is amazing work and such a useful resource - I never knew half of those colours even existed! I particularly like the way some of the pictures show the colour variations like in Red and Pearl Gold. My favourite colour name has got to be "Transparent Medium Reddish Violet Glitter" - just wonderful! Thanks to all involved in this project.

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By in United Kingdom,

:-)

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By in Australia,

Awesome! Another database in the database! Thanks heaps Ryan!

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By in Poland,

Nice list :) I do however note the absence of "Randomly Occurring Off-white" or "Inexplicably yellowing light blue" and other free colors that bricks seem to get for no reason other than time passing ;)

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By in Romania,

It would be great if the pictures in the Instructions booklets were just as good - so as to make it possible, for instance, to tell not one black from another but black from brown or gray.

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow - an amazing bit of work - Ryan for having the patience and skill to photograph colours well, and Huw for integrating into Brickset. This raises two questions in my mind:

1) how can LEGO afford to maintain so many colours?
2) Where on earth is "Conductive Black" used? What is that amazing Travis-like part, and what sets is it in? What does it conduct? Electricity, Light, Quantum digits, Bionicle-energy?
3) can I stretch my budget again?

Thanks again.

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By in Poland,

@princeofgonville
Look into 2015 Ultra Agents series, a conductive 1 x 1 brick appears there to be used with tablet app (it works with touch screens), and that's currently the one and only example of part in Conductive Black. :)

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