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# Properties of Color

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Author: Sophia Tutorial
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In this lesson you will learn about the basic characteristics and terminology associated with color.

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Tutorial

Hello and welcome to today's lesson on the properties of color. This lesson will specifically cover:

1. Sir Isaac Newton
2. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
3. Value, Saturation & Color Temperature

## 1. Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton was an English physicist and mathematician and color theorist who decomposed light into the colors of the spectrum, devised the Particle Theory of Light and created the first color circle.

• Color Spectrum
• The seven hues of visible light: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. These hues are arranged on the spectrum by wavelength.
• Sir Isaac Newton
• English physicist, mathematician and color theorist who decomposed light into the colors of the spectrum, devised the Particle Theory of Light and created the first color "circle".

Newton discovered the color spectrum which are the seven hues of visible light, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, a range of the spectrum by wavelength. He shone light through a prism and that beam of light split into the color spectrum. Out of this he created the first color circle and the circle had the letters around it that read R-O-Y G-B-I-V which correspond to the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

Each one of the colors in the color circle is a hue, which is quite simply the name of a color. So red is a hue, red orange is a hue, orange is a hue, yellow, and so on.

• Hue
• The name of a color.

## 2. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Another gentleman by the name of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and artist who studied the physiological effects of color.

• Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
• German writer and artist who studied the physiological effects of color. Goethe opposed Newton's analytical data and also created a color circle.

He opposed Newton's analytical data and from his own observations created his own color circle or color wheel.

## 3. Value, Saturation & Color Temperature

Next, this lesson will cover a few characteristics of color-- value, saturation, and color temperature.

• Value
• Another term for lightness or darkness.
• Saturation
• Another term for the intensity of a color, usually refers to the purity or vividness of a color.
• Color Temperature
• A measurement in Kelvin used to describe lighting conditions when viewing color.

### A. VALUE

Value is another term for lightness or darkness. You can see the various hues in the example below as changing values go from light to dark.

### B. Saturation

Saturation is another term for the intensity of color, and it usually refers to the purity of vividness of a color. In the blocks below, the middle hue is the base color.

As you move to your left, it's less saturated and you can see that it starts to get really dull and kind of loses its life. If you move to the right of the base color you get the opposite effect; you have a higher saturation and the color appears more vivid and lively.

Saturation is important for commercial design and it's also really important in photography. If you lower the saturation of a photo it starts to lose some of its color. If you go the opposite way and increase saturation, it will start to get more vibrant. However, too much saturation really blows out some of those colors and creates an unnatural vivid look and can oftentimes result in noise and artifacting.

### C. Color Temperature

Color temperature is a measure in kelvin used to describe lighting conditions when viewing color.

If you look at the flame in the image above, as it gets hotter it gets bluer. The color temp chart it gives you kind of a breakdown of color temperature in relation to something else in the real world. So for example, at 1,700 kelvins, which is that top orange there, it's similar to a match flame. If you jump somewhere in the middle to 4,100 kelvin you get moonlight. If we go all the way to the bottom you get clear blue sky.

Typically when you're talking about color temperature it's either warm or cool color temperature.

If you've ever bought bulbs at a store typically they're rated in wattage and oftentimes color temperature.  While differences are minor, they'll make a pretty big difference when you put them in your home.

Color temperature can also affect the color perception in a design, some sort of graphic design or web design, or photography.

That concludes today's lesson on the properties of color. This lesson covered a bit of the history of color with Sir Isaac Newton and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It also covered the major properties of color: color temperature, value, hue, and saturation.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: SOURCE: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR MARIO E. HERNANDEZ

Terms to Know
Color Spectrum

The seven hues of visible light: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. These hues are arranged on the spectrum by wavelength.

Color Temperature

A measurement in Kelvin used to describe lighting conditions when viewing color.

Hue

The name of a color.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

German writer and artist who studied the physiological effects of color. Goethe opposed Newton's analytical data and also created a color circle.

Saturation

Another term for the intensity of a color, usually refers to the purity or vividness of a color.

Sir Isaac Newton

English physicist, mathematician and color theorist who decomposed light into the colors of the spectrum, devised the Particle Theory of Light and created the first color "circle".

Value

Another term for lightness or darkness.