Tuesday, 8 January 2013


Lecture 1 - Colour Principles 

Everybody has their own perception of colour, our ability to perceive colour is based on light travelling on different wave lengths. 


Blue - Short weak wave lengths
Red - Long strong wave lengths
Green - In between red and blue

Colour is based on our ability to perceive it. In our eyes we have receptors called RODS and CONES.

Rods convey tonal shades, and cones convey colour information.

Of the three types of cones, the first is sensitive to red-orange light, the second to green light and the third to blue-violet light.

If our green cone is stimulated we see 'green', if our red cone is stimulated we see 'red'. However, if both are stimulated simultaneously we see yellow.

Colour wheel


The three primary colours are blue red and yellow, they can not be created by mixing any other colours.

Secondary colours are created when two primary colours are mixed.

Tertiary colours are a combination of secondary and primary colours.

Complimentary colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel. However they do not compliment each other when mixed, in fact if you mix the complimentaries at the correct ratio you will eventually end up with a dark grey.

Colour Modes

The CYMK colour mode is for physical printed media.
CYM or Cyan, Yellow and Magenta are the primary colours, black is the key colour.

The RGB colour mode is for screen based media.
They are spectral colours (made of light), so when mixed they get lighter.

The eye cannot differentiate between spectral yellow and some combinations of green and red.

The same effect accounts for our perception of cyan, magenta, and the other in-between spectral colours.

Subtractive colour

Most forms of printed media use the subtractive colour system, when the colours are mixed, colour value is lost.

Primary Colours- CMY
Secondary Colours- RGB
Neutral Colour- Black

Additive colour

Screen based media uses the Additive system of colour, when colours are mixed they create white.

Primary Colours- RGB
Secondary Colours- CMY
Neutral Colour- White

After a short break we met back in the class room and gathered the objects we had been asked to collect over the Christmas holidays. Before we broke up we were set a task to collect coloured objects, we were each given a specific colour, mine was blue. 

People who had collected the same coloured objects got into groups and combined the objects forming a collecting of blue items, we then we had to categorise the items by colour. We started with the greenish blues to follow on from the green items the next group had collected. Categorising the colours was harder than I expected because of factors such as the texture of the item, glossy surfaces reflected light, matt materials absorb it. Moreover, it was very hard to categorise the colours without having something to compare them too.

Lecture 2 - Dimensions of colour

Chromatic Value = Hue + Tone + Saturation


Hue is the term used for the pure colour, such as red green and blue.  

Shade, Tones, Tint, Luminance 


The term shade refers to how dark a colour is, when the hue is mixed with black a new shade is created. 

Desaturation through chromatic value.

The term Tint referes to how light a colour is, when the hue is mixed with white the colour becomes lighter.  

Desaturation through tonal value.

Tone is defined by adding both black and white (making grey) to the hue. 

Desaturation through both.


Pantone is a colour mixing system used for printed physical media, each colour has a standardised unique code. 

We can use the pantone colour matching system to identify colours from a range of sources. 

Finally, Fred set us one last task, we had to define 7 objects from the items we collected. We had to select the darkest coloured item, middle, lightest, brightest, dullest etc.

(get images of priyesh)

We then had to first arrange them in Chromatic value, and then pantone colour match each one, finding out information such as the colour code. Matching the colours was harder than expected because some surfaces reflected light more that others. Pantone make different colour books for this called 'Coated', we used this to match the items that were reflecting light. 

(get images & information off priyesh)

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