| color terminology
There are certain properties of color learning the differences between
them will help you to appreciate the many nuances of color. The most important
- Hue: This is a synonym for the
name of the color that reflects the dominant wavelength; for example
red, blue, yellow and so on.
- Saturation: Saturation or chroma
describes the intensity of a color-how much or how little gray it contains.
The purer a color, the more it approaches the colors of the spectrum
and the greater its saturation. So the word "saturation" means
just that-the color can't be any "truer" than that. Colors
at their highest chroma or saturation are at their ultimate brilliance,
while lowered saturation makes them much more subdued and muted.
- Value: The lightness or darkness
of a color is called its value. Closely related values are seen as calm
and quiet, while sharp changes in value suggest more drama. The impact
of color is not just about the actual hue, but also involves the saturation
- Undertone: This denotes an underlying
color within any given hue. For example, yellow in yellowish green,
red in reddish violet, gray in grayish blue. Another word for undertone
is cast, as in brown with a red cast.
- Tone: A mixture of a saturated
color with gray.
- Shade: Although this word is often
used interchangeably with the word color, a shade is actually a mixture
of a fully saturated hue with black.
- Tint: A tint is a mixture of a
saturated hue with white, so that pastels are all tints.
Portions reproduced from "THE
COLOR ANSWER BOOK" with the permission of Leatrice Eiseman.