getting correct colors

getting correct colors
Ordering the correct color handset cord for your phone is not as simple as black or white, even if your phone is black or white. There are multiple blacks and whites available, plus dozens of other confusing colors.

The best way to order the proper color for you phone is to read the label on the bottom (or back) of your phone, or the markings on the box.

Most boxes actually spell out the name, and show a numeric code, but some boxes have codes but no names, and vice versa.

Just to make life more interesting, some boxes will show two colors, like the "ash/almond" on the ITT box shown. It's also possible that the box you have is not the original box for the phone, or that a phone has been modified and the color indicated on the bottom is not the color of the body.

Be aware that different manufacturers use different color codes for the same colors, and the same names for slightly different colors.

If you can't figure out what you need, please call us at 1.888.225.3999.

  • Some phone colors -- such as black, white, ivory, light blue, green and beige -- were identical, whether made by Western Electric (ATT), Cortelco (ITT), Comdial (Stromberg-Carlson), or Northern Telecom (Nortel).
  • The red phones from ATT are darker than most red phones from the other companies.
  • Some red phones are described as "cherry red." Cherries come in different colors, so we say "dark red" and "bright red."
  • Older red phones from Northern Telecom are dark like ATT. Newer ones are bright red.
  • Most ATT yellow phones are lighter than the harvest gold used by other companies, but some are just as dark.
  • Northern Telecom originally used the same yellow as ATT, and later switched to harvest gold.
  • ATT "Design Line" phones were made in some colors not used for standard phones.
  • Some standard styles were made in unusual colors, such as teal blue, for just a few years.
  • ATT didn't make ash-colored phones, which were big sellers for the other phone makers.
  • Northern Telecom called ash "chameleon" or "chameleon gray" because it seemed to blend in anywhere.
  • Ash (or chameleon) is a light warm gray, like the color of a cigarette ash, or many PCs of the 1980s and 90s.
  • Some ITT phone boxes were labeled "ash-almond" in the 1980s because almond was a popular appliance color, and most people outside the phone business did not understand what "ash" was.
  • Phone colors can change over the years, due to cigarette smoke, strong light, and airborne chemicals. Light blue may look like turquoise. White may look like yellow. Ivory may look like beige. Sometimes different parts of the same phone may have different color shifts.