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What Color is Your Name?

Synesthesia is a condition in which people experience one sense as a different sense, as in perceiving music as colors or scents, or being able to taste art. Bernadette Sheridan has grapheme-color synesthesia, meaning she translates text as colors, especially the letters that make up names.

When I meet new people, I forget their name immediately. Don’t get me wrong, I hear the name, but my mind is distracted. In my head, I am counting the number of letters in the name, and visualizing the colors of each letter.

Your name may be Emily, but to me, you’re a bright, sunny swath of five letters with an “E” and an “I.” When I meet you again later, I may think your name is Emily or Jille or Ellie. Those three names “look” remarkably similar to someone who operates as I do — they all have five letters, they all include the letters “i,” “l,” and “e.”

Sheridan created a generator to show people what their name looks like to her. Enter your (or any) name into the generator here to see it rendered in colors. Sheridan cautions that the colors she sees are her individual translation, and would not be the same for another synesthete. Read more about her colors and the visualization project at Medium. -via Mental Floss


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