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Name game

From BlackWhite magazine - issue 02, covered

The stories behind some of Resene's colour monikers.

Tony Nightingale, former Resene Managing Director and the son of the company's founder, used to take his holidays in the Marlborough Sounds. The area was a major inspiration for a number of Resene colours.

Colour name game

Those who have been practicing for a while will be very familiar with Resene Picton Blue, Resene Lochmara and Resene Takaka from the original Resene Multi-finish range launched in the 1980s. This was the first major foray into naming colours after New Zealand and Australian locations, and many more have followed since in subsequent charts along with other Kiwiana inspired names like Resene Pavlova, Resene Fish N Chips, Resene Pohutukawa, Resene Bungy, Resene Jandal and Resene Sweet As and Australian inspired ones like Resene Wombat, Resene Kangaroo, Resene Kookaburra, Resene Gold Coast and Resene St Kilda. If you look through the charts, you'll start to recognise many locally inspired colours.

While it's easy to see the connection between those hues and their namesakes, we shed some light on a few of the less obvious Resene colour names.

Resene Hillary
Named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the New Zealand mountaineer who was one of the first people to scale Mount Everest.

Resene Billy T
Named after Billy T James, the stage name of popular New Zealand entertainer, comedian, musician and actor William Taitoko.

Resene Zinzan and Resene Tana
Named after New Zealand rugby players Zinzan Brooke and Tana Umaga.

Resene Pearl Lusta
Tony Nightingale also liked to give names interesting spellings to make them memorable, so what probably should have been called ‘Pearl Lustre' has always been Resene Pearl Lusta. Similarly, he also dropped a vowel when naming Resene ColorShops because he liked the look of it without the u.

Resene Racing Green, Resene Hendrix and Resene Twisted Sister
Named for current Resene Managing Director Nick Nightingale's love of cars and music.

Resene Scarlett, Resene Geneva and Resene Janna
Named after Nick Nightingale's three daughters.

Resene Long Shot
This summery purple was very on-trend at the time it was released, but given its bold and polarising nature, Resene considered it to be a bit of a long shot for most to choose it.

Resene Last Chance
The last colour on the whites and neutrals fandeck at the time, Resene decided that if you hadn't found a colour by the time you reached Resene Last Chance, it was literally your last chance to find the right hue.

Resene TBC
The colour name that wasn't. While everyone loved the concept, the name was deemed too confusing to include for its potential to cause headaches for both specifiers and tradespeople.

In the next The Range fashion fandeck release, watch out for Resene Ted, which is named after Resene founder Ted Nightingale.

With new colours being released regularly, Resene is always on the lookout for more colour names. If you have interesting colour name ideas to share, email us at with your suggestions. If you have a specific colour in mind for your colour name, make sure you let us know. You might be lucky enough to see your name on a future Resene colour chart!

Resene Twisted Sister

BlackWhite magazine

This is a magazine created for the industry, by the industry and with the industry – and a publication like this is only possible because of New Zealand and Australia's remarkably talented and loyal Resene specifiers and users.

If you have a project finished in Resene paints, wood stains or coatings, whether it is strikingly colourful, beautifully tonal, a haven of natural stained and clear finishes, wonderfully unique or anything in between, we'd love to see it and have the opportunity to showcase it. Submit your projects online or email You're welcome to share as many projects as you would like, whenever it suits. We look forward to seeing what you've been busy creating.

Return to BlackWhite, issue 02


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.