Simple Color Theory

29 Jun

Describing Your Colors

When you look at the objects around you and describe them you describe it's shape, functions and probably it's color aswell. If you would focus on it's color, here's how you could do that. After reading this, scroll through the magazine and describe the colors for yourself. Colors don't let themselves be understood by reading. You'll learn more by looking at the colors carefully.


By naming it's color you already name it's hue. Hues are the pure colors as you would find it on the color wheel (below left). By calling the color light blue, or dark blue, you describe the color's tone. Tones describe the color on a light (tint)- dark (shadow) scale. It's as if white or black are being added to the hue. The color wheel on the right shows the original hue in the middel ring. Shadow is added to the color on the outside ring, and tint is added in the inner ring.

color wheel vervolg 1color wheel vervolg 2

The saturation of the color describes a hue's intensity or pureness. High saturation gives you an almost fluorescent effect like in warning signs. Low saturation gives a bland, faded effect like would happen to a poster or photo's that have been in the sunny side of the room, as you can see in the example below right. Saturation is about the amount of pigment in the object, the more pigment, the higher the saturation will be. Pigments don't always last forever, sunlight for example destroys pigment leaving a low saturation and a faded look.

color wheel vervolg 3

Brightness refers to whether the color seems to radiate or reflect light. This term is often confused with a light tone, or a high saturation. Think of brightness as when you polish an object, like a floor, jewelry or your car. Before polishing it won't be very bright. Polishing the object will make it seem brighter, eventhough the color hasn't changed. Metal objects will seem bright, as metal reflects a lot of light. Others, like leather or suede less so. Synthetic products such as plastics and silicone based products often come in bright colors. 

color wheel vervolg 4 geschaald

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Color Objects encourages you to get a better eye and appreciation for colors and characters. To get a special selection of pics and info for you, we find designers and artists that make colorful work from all over the world. There's a lot of character in colors, and having a closer look will change your view of the world and people around you. So we share a host of pics and info from design, art, cultures and the natural world. All about colors.

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