Chapter 13: Color
Color BasicsBefore discussing the technology of Web color, let's quickly review color terms and theory. In traditional color theory, there are three primary colors: blue, red, and yellow. By mixing the primary colors you get three secondary colors: green, orange, and purple. Finally, by mixing these colors we get the tertiary colors: yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green, and yellow-green. We now have a total of twelve colors, which are generally arranged as a color wheel, as shown in Figure 13-1. A larger version can be seen at www.webdesignref.com/examples/colorwheel.htm.
We add to our basic color palette the neutrals: black, white, and gray. Recall that black is the absence of color while white is the combination of all colors.
From the twelve basic colors and the neutrals all the rest of the colors are born. Given a particular color, or more appropriately hue, we might modify the value or brightness of the color to create variations. For example, we might take the color blue and vary it from light blue to dark blue. It is also possible to modify the intensity. Intensity controls how bright or dull a particular color appears. You might think of intensity as purity; the higher the intensity, the more pure the color. Intensity is also described using the term saturation. These basic terms and a few others are defined in Table 13-1.
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