Talking in Color

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About Susan Spangler

I'm a graphic designer and illustrator, observer and survivor. My website,, contains a wide portfolio of my projects and images – some for pay, most for love, many for both. These graphic essays are inspired by things that catch my eye, my ear, my heart. Funny, confounding, astounding and encouraging, all at once. You know. Life.
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14 Responses to Talking in Color

  1. patty dann says:

    This is extraordinary – brilliant and beautiful and original and all those words again, in every color!

  2. Judy says:

    I love your blog so much!

  3. Oh, Judy! Thank you so much!

  4. Marianne says:

    Wow – that’s so interesting. Do the letters and numbers always have the same colors or do they vary? You’ve given me a lot to think about today. Thanks!

    • The colors never change. I always felt (“known”) my birthday (the 17th) was purple. But each mind’s eye sees the colors its own way. For instance, my sister’s and my colors are totally different – and it’s funny how jarring it is to hear that, to someone else, a number of “yours” looks entirely different, i.e. how can 4 NOT be red?! Impossible! Weird but true.

  5. Beautiful, Suse! Thanks for opening the vault, and showing the colors inside!

  6. patshowsmart says:

    Marvelous description and examples of synesthesia! I am one too, and know it is hereditary. So, when my son was having trouble with arithmetic in second grade, before I sat down to help him, I said, “What color is this three,” pointing at his paper. He answered quizzically, “Black.” He doesn’t have it, but I didn’t want to mess with “his” colors if he did.

    There was a book in the 1970’s maybe you’ve heard of about another strain of synesthesia, called “The Man Who Tasted Shapes.” Anyway, I was grown before I had any idea I had this or it even existed. I just knew I was great at arithmetic and phone numbers.

    Thanks so much for sharing. Your blog is fun to read. Please do call me. Pat
    Three is yolk yellow to me.

    • Thanks, Pat! VERY cool! But I was (and am still) terrible at math – though very good at remembering addresses & phone numbers. No correlation, apparently. In a similar vein, George, who can detect the slightest sharp or flat, can’t carry a tune. I guess there’s a specific gene for every little thing. I’ve never seen that book – sounds like a title Oliver Sacks might have written, i.e. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Is it his, by any chance? And about that 3 – it’s orange for me. Pretty close to yolk yellow, right?

  7. Oehl Kathy says:

    Susie, Whenever I read your posts, i am transported to a smiling place. Thank you.

  8. Carol Reiman says:

    Oh, yes, my mother and I think of letters and numbers with distinct colors. Also dream in color. Found it hard to believe that other people do not necessarily do this also. We are very much aware of when colors/shades match in clothing and surrounding items. I have found it very striking when a character on tv had reddish hair and it matches the woodwork. From the time I was a child, my mother would note how clouds or other things looked like animal faces or shapes. Now my mother asks about names of color shades (different for each manufacturer or catalog). What I realized just recently is that my brother writes about color names and also wonders why clothing people use those particular names for various shades. All three of us attended art school; my brother and I grew up with Crayola crayons, and my mother shopped for acrylic paints–ultramarine, cerulean….

    • Lovely! It’s such a gift – and so much fun to find people who share it! Everything you say feels very familiar. Thank you for sharing your very similar experiences with me!

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