With Spectral colour, Yellow doesn't actually exist, it is perceived by seeing two colours - red and green. Therefore yellow cannot be a primary colour in this instance, as it is made from two colours, meaning that the primary colours are Red, Green and Blue, these colours RGB being the main colour mode for digital screen.
CYMK is the colour mode for production processes, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black being the Key colour.
From these colour modes we get subtractive colours and additive colours.
We then have Chromatic values to how we perceive colour - this consists of Hue + Tone + Saturation. Chromatic values are considered to be the building blocks of how we depict colour.
Hue is a different shade or tint of a base colour, secondary or primary.
Tone is also known as Luminance:
- A shade of a colour is when we gradually add black to the hue and we gain different stages of colour from this. A gradual tonal value of the original hue.
- A Tint however is the exact opposite of a Shade as we add white to the hue over time.
When you combine both shade and tint of a colour you get a tone. When we see a colour of an object we see the reflected light based on Luminance, we see that lighter colours reflect more light whilst darker colours absorb the light, perceiving to be dark.
Saturation is the vibrance of a colour whereas desaturation is when colour is removed from the original colour, becoming darker until it reaches a neutral grey and then turns to black. For example if you were to change a violet hue to a blue, you would actually be desaturating the hue.
When we introduce another hue of the same colour we start to compare between the two and it changes our perception, meaning we cant actually trust what we are seeing. For instance, when we see a colour in context we cant be sure that that red is red. We define colour in comparison, the colour shifts in chromatic value not physically but psychologically.
Monochromatic - between black and white there are a range of inbetweens. We can use ittens wheel as a basis for his monochromatic range, we remove the colour.
Pantone is the best colour matching system we can obtain on screen, we get an exact colour tone, and is a way that we define colour. It is also helpful when sending digital work to print, as you can specifically request the exact pantone colour you want printed.
|Example of a Pantone book|
The first thing we see to determine colour is the contrast of tone and hue - is it light or is it dark? - these relate to the Rods and Cones of our eyes.
- Contrast of a Hue - The greater the distance between hues the greater the contrast however it is not that simple. If we were to put red text on a blue background it would be hard to read, we would need to use ittens colour wheel as a basis. Interestingly the yellow is seen as the white of the colour wheel. This can be seen when we compare it against a back background.
- Contrast of Proportion - the visual weight of a colour - Making a colour 'standout' or 'fade' into the background.
- Contrast of Temperature - Hues that are considered to be warm and cool - we associate colours to be warm and cool even though we know that colours aren't actually hot or cold. A contrast of colour is a build up of hue and saturation. When we isolate the colours, red gradually fading into blue/blue to red the colours look matte however when we put the hues together we see a gradient form. This gradient does not exist but we still perceive this, and it is also perceived in print.
- Complimentary contrast - The highest contrast we know of is black and white, both colours fight for attention, we see a constant movement and it causes a slight vibration. This is due to how our eyes see colour, it sinks back and another is pushed forward as they both fight for attention.
- Simultaneous contrast is formed when the boundaries between colour values. For example putting a more desaturated colour behind a less desaturated version of the same colour becomes more saturated.