How-To Articles

Color Basics Part 1 - Introduction

Color Basics Part 1 –Introduction

Welcome to part 1 of an 8 part informational series about color. In this series we will explore color with an eye for recognizing it, using it, and reproducing it. The information in this series is taken largely from the Color Handbook for the Graphic Arts, published by Bridge’s (Basic Requirements for International Design & Graphic Solutions)

Color is an important part of our lives. It is a sensation created from light that exists everywhere in nature. From the first caves to castles, houses and living rooms, people have always brought color into their homes and used it to enhance their lives. We use color to dress and decorate ourselves. Color is in the flowers we grow, the pictures we paint, the fabrics we weave, the cosmetics we use and the food we eat.

Color adds excitement and emotion to our lives. From royal purples to natural greens to aggressive and dramatic reds, color has always been tied intimately to our emotions and feelings. We can feel blue, be red hot or turn green with envy. As advertisers have known for years, color sells!

Color is part of our language. As children we learn to associate the sensation of color with a name. Parents point to pictures in a book and tell their children, “Apples are red, the sky is blue and the grass is green.” As we grow older, the world around us becomes more complex. We discover that the grass can be many shades of green: lime green, kelly green, emerald green and colors that are not quite green and not quite blue. We find that understanding color is elusive. Come along as we explore the glorious subject of color- what it is, how we measure it and how we manage it.