# Web design

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## Color theory and color wheel(kuler)

### Jun 30, 2011 9:24 AM

I am in the procces of trying to grasp  color theory, a useful aid towards this direction is kuler.

When someone has selected a swatch(custom or not) in kuler-and whatever rule is selected- there

is a bar under the color wheel that is used to adjust the brightness.

I have noticed that(unless the base color is chosen) that when the brightness is adjusted the rest colors from the swatch are not altered.

Does that mean that the brightness of a color does not affect the color balance/harmony of the swatch?

IF the above applies, given a specific swatch/color harmony, can I give to a color whatever degree of brightness I want and still my swatch will preserve its harmony and balance adhering to the color theory.

Or it DOES and this will be evident (only )when the color whose brightness is altered is selected as the base color?

I am sorry if i confused you.

Replies
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Jun 30, 2011 12:27 PM   in reply to JimVag1947

Color Theory

http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-theory-intro.ht m

Tints = added white (brightness) to a color hue.

Shades = added black (darkness) to a color hue.

Tones = added gray (contrast) to a color hue.

Nancy O.
Alt-Web Design & Publishing
Web | Graphics | Print | Media  Specialists
http://alt-web.com/

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Jul 25, 2011 4:26 PM   in reply to JimVag1947

Hey,

Having been recently studying color theory, I would say the short answer to your question is: yes.  Tints/shades are technically adjustments to the "value" of the color, which is to say how much white or black is added to the color to get darkness, with the same hue and saturation.  The hue is the starting color from the spectrum of visible colors, while saturation is how much of the color is present in the color.  You should be able to freely manipulate the value without affecting the 'harmony'.  Of course, as a programmer who  has worked with different aspects of graphics and dabbled with the creative, artistic side of things as well, I think a lot of the problem is that these laws of harmony are all really products arising from color interactions.  These interactions occur in psychological and cultural perceptive constraints - in addition to physical limitations of vision and the nature of light waves.  So everything is pretty mutable and arising from lots of conflict.  Do you use the rgb/cmyk color wheel or the traditional ryb?  Additive color mixing or subtractive?  Nothing is really set in stone...

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Jul 25, 2011 6:26 PM   in reply to drogers141

Having been recently studying color theory, I would say the short answer to your question is: yes.  Tints/shades are technically adjustments to the "value" of the color, which is to say how much white or black is added to the color to get darkness, with the same hue and saturation.

I haven't studied the theory of colors but using my degree in Physics, Mathematics and Computing I always thought that there are just three primary colors out which all other colors are made.  These are Red, Green and Blue.  To get darker colors you simply add little bit more of Green and Blue and so on.  In fact if you use pure pigments of Red, Green and Blue and mix them in equal proportions you get white!  Now this must be magic or some African witchcraft!

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Jul 25, 2011 9:58 PM   in reply to mytaxsite.co.uk

Yeah, I have some physics behind me and a lot of math that I keep forgetting..  Color involves all of that, but also more.  Look at  this guy's stuff for some concise scientific background: http://www.poynton.com/notes/colour_and_gamma/ColorFAQ.html

You are right, rgb can be used to fully describe any color.  As can any 3 dimensional space that can be mapped to the CIE XYZ coordinate system.  HSV is probably best for thinking about it for us.  Rgb works, but was developed because of the limitations of the human eye's cones and rods, and that's how we started with computer graphics.  However, these are working with light as the medium and so do additive mixing of colors.  Artists developed all their stuff from mixing paints, where the mixing of two colors that each reflect a part of the spectrum combine to form a substance that reflects *less* of the spectrum and so subtracts.  Thus the so-called subtractive mixing, and why the ryb color wheel is different than the rgb/cmyk.  And note: I think the great artists are definitely a source I consider valid for any idea of color 'harmony', right?

I've just started checking out Kuler, and have looked at a lot of color wheels.  Kuler mixes with light, but seems to mimic the subtractive blending in their calculations.  Try the base color red: ff0000, then select the complementary scheme.  The wheel shows 180 degrees on the wheel at full saturation to be 00ff48.  With rgb, it would be 00ff00.  I think Kuler is closer to the artists' color wheel than rgb, but still not fully on.  But I'm not sure..

**Any color gurus from Adobe want to weigh in?**

While you're at it, I've been coding some color blending tools to help with my website, and I would love to get the algorithm behind the Kuler wheel and rules, if it wouldn't step on any toes.  I looked at the apis and the developer forum, but haven't found anything.

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Jul 27, 2011 7:30 AM   in reply to drogers141

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Aug 4, 2011 11:21 AM   in reply to mytaxsite.co.uk

Mixing pure PIGMENT (ie. dyes, paints, inks) of red, green and blue produces BLACK (subtractive mixing). MIxing LIGHT of red, green and blue in equal intensities results in WHITE (addtive mixing).

Don't forget that it is reflected light that we see as colour and not the actual objects...

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