Monday, July 30, 2012

How to Describe Color

Have you ever felt at a loss trying to describe a color to someone? Communicating something as essentially visual as a color is challenging, especially because everyone sees color differently. With a little practice, you won't have to become a color expert to improve your color communication skills. Colors have basic characteristics, and if you learn to describe them, you'll be able to create a more accurate word picture. 


Here are the three basic attributes that you should include in your color descriptions:


Hue(s)
Hue is the color name,  such as red or green, further described by any additional hues (also known as undertones)  that you can identify, such as a blue-red. Already the listener knows much more than if you simply said a color was red. 


Value

Value is the color's relative lightness or darkness. Describe the color as light, medium or dark. 


Chroma

Chroma indicates whether the color is bright or dull.  The chart below shows how the chroma of red, yellow, green and blue can vary, according to whether it's mixed with black, various shades of gray, or white.  Notice the difference between the basic color on the far right of each section, and how it changes as more black or white is added.

Named Colors

Even when the work of describing a color has been done with a name that's generally understood, such as magenta, it helps to provide as much additional information as you can. Is the magenta dull or bright? Is it relatively light or dark? Does it tilt more toward red or toward blue? Named colors like magenta can have many interpretations, and the listener's understanding of what the word "magenta" means will add still another variable. It's no wonder that color communications are tricky.


Analyze the colors around you and practice the descriptions. The more you do it, the better you'll get and the more accurate the understanding of your listener when you want to talk about the color you're considering for the kitchen.







No comments:

Post a Comment