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What’s in a name? If you ask designer and artist Bernadette Sheridan, it’s a whole color spectrum! Sheridan has something called synesthesia — a condition in which one sense is simultaneously “seen” by another sense. In her case, when she hears a name, she “sees” a color. Now, she wants you to see them, too, with a series of framed color portraits that you can buy on Etsy (from $12).
“Your name may be Emily, but to me, you’re a bright, happy swath of five letters with an “E” and an “I,” she explained on her website.
Sheridan’s specific form of synesthesia is known as “color-grapheme synesthesia.” According to Frontiers in Psychology, non-colored graphemes (a letters or number that represents a sound) “are perceived as being inherently colored.”
A 2015 article from Current Opinion in Neurology states that synesthesia can be a result of anything from genetics to neurological disorders — it is also occasionally seen in those with autism spectrum disorders, such as Asperger’s.
It also tends to be associated with heightened creativity. That’s certainly the case with Sheridan, who has created an interactive online tool called the Synesthesia Me Visualizer to show you what she’s seeing.
Here, you can view the color of other random names or input your own moniker into a box to see which hues its associated with.
Once you do so, a line will appear with synesthesia-colored blocks for each and every letter shown.
Sheridan then takes that combination and turns it into a work of art, extending the color blocks into a non-framed 8 x 8 ($34) or a framed 12 x 12 ($108) print on premium Giclee paper. You can also get it as a digital file ($12).
Customers are loving seeing their names on the wall, with one shopper writing, “This is really cool! I love it! Perfect gift for someone with grapheme synesthesia!”
We, for one, think it’s a super unique and fun way to personalize your space.
Where to buy: From $12, Etsy