Poster: The Color Vowel Chart (4th Edition)


Featuring sleeker rounded lines, the 4th Edition Color Vowel Chart illustrates how vowel sounds fall along a continuum of production.

This 18″ x 24″ poster of the Color Vowel™ Chart is printed on durable, tear-resistant paper and folds for easy storage and portability. It is easily mounted on self-adhesive poster board or can be laminated. All posters are printed in the “Key Word” version.


Out of stock

The COLOR VOWEL® Chart, 4th Edition

Welcome to the 4th Edition of the COLOR VOWEL® Chart. If you’ve used previous editions of the COLOR VOWEL® Chart, you will notice some changes:

Rounded lines: Our new, curved lines help convey vowel production as a continuum of sound rather than as isolated vowel sounds. For more information, watch our video, “Color Vowel Yoga” on YouTube.
A bigger CUP OF MUSTARD Because vowel reduction and, specifically, the use of schwa (/ə/) is so prevalent in spoken English, we’ve allocated a larger visual space to represent this sound. Note that A CUP OF MUSTARD represents both the stressed /ʌ/ (as in “cup” and “mustard”) and the unstressed /ə/ (as heard when “a” and “of” are said naturally as part of a phrase).
Swapped positions for BROWN COW and TURQUOISE TOY: We moved BROWN out to the periphery of the Chart to provide it with a more accurate visual representation as a diphthong that originates at BLACK (/æ/) or OLIVE (/a/) and moves around and up through BLUE (/u/). Meanwhile TURQUOISE is now more appropriately placed to convey how it moves across the vocal tract from back vowel AUBURN or ROSE to high front vowel GREEN.
A gray line between OLIVE and AUBURN: The interesting thing about OLIVE (/a/) and AUBURN (/ɔ/) is that they are distinct for many, but not all, speakers of English. The gray line between the OLIVE and AUBURN subtly highlights the so-called “back vowel merger” prevalent in many North American varieties of English.
Note that our “Classic” 3rd edition of the Color Vowel Chart (featuring straight lines between each Color Vowel) still works perfectly well and there is no need to immediately ‘upgrade’ to the 4th Edition. However, as 3rd Edition products run out, we will not be reprinting that inventory.

Questions? Comments? Attend one of our free webcasts or email us at

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If one or more of your items has arrived damaged, or if you received the wrong items in your order, please send a photo of the item(s) in question, along with a description of the issue, to and we’ll respond with a solution within 24 hours.


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