Australian Researchers Believe They've Found the World's Ugliest Color

I frowned, recoiled, and muttered an audible "ew." Thus was my reaction upon viewing this color. We all have our own tastes, but it seems that there's one color most of us can agree is especially disgusting, but that helps it serve a useful purpose. 

We talk a lot about color toning, and the truth is, it's one of those subtler steps that can really make a good image a standout image. Sometimes though, it smacks you in the face, as is the case with the color opaque couché, Pantone 448 C. Australian researchers believe it's the "ugliest" color as judged by the reactions study participants had to it, which included such labels as "sewage-tinted" and "death." The research was done for an important reason, however, as the Australian government will now use it on packaging to help deter consumers from buying tobacco products. It's a great example of how things we take for granted as consumers can influence us and how we as photographers can use that influence to our advantage. 

By the way, if you'd like to try using it yourself, fire up Photoshop, and enter the RGB triplet (74,65,42) into the color selector. Use at your own risk. 

Edit: It seems the YouTube video isn't available in some countries, so here's opaque couché in all its glory:

Lead image by Flickr user Ian Ransley, used under Creative Commons.

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Rob Mynard's picture

Hey that's the exact colour of the trousers I'm wearing right now...
The problem here is that the way we perceive colours changes depending on where it is. When I think of this colour in relation to tobacco products it suddenly takes on the look of dried tobacco leaves and looks perfectly fine. Cigarette packets should be fluorescent orange like a warning sign and super eye-catching so people feel like they should hide them.

At least it's not mauve.

The colors of the advertisement in this page...

It looks like a good Pacific Northwest color...I think we should name it "Slug".