• White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
FOLLOW US:
VISIT US:

© 2018 iRH Designs and The World Of. All rights reserved. No part of the digital product or website content may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission, except as permitted by copyright law applicable. You may not reproduce or communicate any of the content on this website, including files downloadable, without the permission of the copyright owner. No representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this website are made.

NOTE: All trademarks, company names, registered names, products, characters, quotes, mottos, logos and catchphrases used or cited in this website are the property of their respective owners and have only been mentioned and or used as cultural references to enhance the narrative and in no way were used to disparage or harm the owners and their companies. The material published on this website is intended for general information only and is not legal advice or other professional advice, and the views and opinions of its author. While care and consideration has been taken in the creation of the material on this website, we do not warrant, represent or guarantee that the material published on this website is in all respects accurate and complete. To the extent permitted by law, we exclude any liability, including any liability for negligence (financial or otherwise), and for any loss or damage arising from reliance on material on this website.

Let's get Social - Follow Us:

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • G+ - Grey Circle
  • YouTube - Grey Circle
  • Pinterest - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle

THE WORLD OF
DESIGN AND HOW WE SEE IT

(by iRH DESIGNS)

  • iRH Designs

Colour THEORY and UNDERSTANDING

Updated: Jan 21, 2019


I never met a colour I didn’t like. - Dale Chihuly

When it comes to colour, most people think they know what to expect; however, the concept of colour, it’s history, theory, cultural and psychological significance and affects (respectively) shows just how complex colour actually is, and essentially proves it be almost a scientific phenomenon. It’s interesting to note, that based on how colours are represented in nature, the word “colour” only entered the English language as a noun at the end of the 17th century officially.

We tend to think of the meanings of colour in fixed terms: red for anger, yellow for cowardice, pink for girls and so on. But when we look at different colours from a historical perspective, it turns out that their meanings are culturally contingent – changing depending on place and time. (Gavin Evans, author of new book The Story of Colour: An Exploration of the Hidden Messages of the Spectrum).


A colour is a physical object as soon as we consider its dependence… luminous source, other colours, temperatures, spaces… - Ernst Mach

To the Human Eye


In nature, light creates the colour. In the picture, colour creates the light. - Hans Hofmann

The human eye, or more specifically the retina which is covered by millions of light-sensitive cells, can detect over 10 million colours, by processing the light into nerve impulses, along the cortex of the brain via the optic nerve; however, the brain cannot remember such complex details with accuracy for more than a few seconds. Humans only perceive the reflected colours and more likely warmer colours as opposed to cooler ones.


Colour As Light


Achieved by, light receptors transmitting messages to the brain, when observed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666, it was determined that colour is not inherent in objects, rather the surface, some reflected, and others absorbed. The colour “red” for example, in an apple, or rather the “red” surface, is reflected in wavelengths that we perceive as “red”, absorbing the rest. Similarly, “white” appears when it reflects all wavelengths and “black” when all are absorbed. Scientists believe and have proven that birds, fish and other mammals perceive the whole spectrum, with some insects such as bees being able to see ultraviolet colours, invisible to the human eye, as part of colour camouflage.


Colour is not something that can be understood entirely, but partially. That’s how complex colour is; but, recognising the physical nature of colour and light and its multiplicity of symbolism and cultural context, understanding colour relationships, interaction, communication and psychological effects, some understanding can be achieved.

Colour has a diverse history, and emphasises the senses and humanities, as it saturates our senses and ignites us emotionally. Colour consciously and subconsciously occupies our minds, as an iconographic, full and expansive visual language on its own.

6 views