Color feature

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A color characteristic (also determinant , dimension , property , component , criterion , parameter , variable of a color ) is a measure for determining colors. A color needs three color characteristics to determine it: hue , lightness and saturation . These can vary independently of one another. With their help, each of the approximately 10 million different colors can be clearly identified, defined and differentiated.

The three color characteristics

The hue (also hue, hue, type of color, color direction, color value, quality, tone, tint, English: hue) describes the type of color that is inherent to each hue, e.g. B. red, yellow, green and blue.

The lightness (also dark level, natural brightness, light-dark value, lightness level, value, English: lightness or value) describes how light or dark a color is, e.g. B. light red or dark red.

The saturation (also chroma, chroma, chroma, intensity, strength, luminosity, purity, purity, English: saturation) describes a hue between colorful and achromatic, e.g. B. blue-gray, brown or olive green.

Three-dimensional arrangement

Color space: three-dimensional arrangement of colors according to the color characteristics hue, lightness and saturation (graphic after Frans Gerritsen)

The three color features can be systematically arranged in a three-dimensional coordinate system. For this purpose, a gray tone axis (also gray scale, gray scale, lightness axis) is set up vertically. It consists of the achromatic or gray colors between white at the upper end and black at the lower end. The color tones span a circle on the edge of which the pure colors are located. The saturation of the colors is zero on the gray tone axis. It increases continuously from the inside out.

Individual evidence

  1. Harald Küppers: The color theory of television, photo and printing technology, color theory of the visual communication theory . 1st edition. DuMont Buchverlag, Cologne 1985, ISBN 3-7701-1726-3 , p. 24 .
  2. Meyer's Encyclopedic Lexicon in 25 volumes . 9th edition. tape 8 : Keyword color theory. Lexikonverlag, Mannheim, Vienna, Zurich 1973, p. 519 .
  3. Frans Gerritsen: Color, optical appearance, physical phenomenon and artistic means of expression . 1st edition. Otto Maier Verlag, Ravensburg 1975, ISBN 3-473-61561-7 , p. 102 .