The first color wheel has been attributed to Sir Isaac Newton, who in 1706 arranged red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet into a natural progression on a rotating disk. As the disk spins, the colors blur together so rapidly that the human eye sees white. From there the organization of color has taken many forms, from tables and charts, to triangles and and wheels the history.
Using text from Sarah Lowengard's The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe we're taking a look at the progression of color organization systems and how the color wheel came to be.
"Number Order Form: Color Systems and Systemization" is only one section of the work. It is is available on an open access/free access at Columbia University Press(click here).
A successful color ordering system requires an appropriate shape, the correct number of colors to include, and the proper medium in which to present its information.
The First Color Organization Systems
Gautier's color-printed picture accompanied one of his many anti-Newtonian publications about color theories. The band of color at the center imitates an illustration in Newton's Opticks but "proves" Gautier's assertion that all colors cannot be found in Newton's spectrum of light.
What is the simplest design that can communicate a relationship among colors? It might be no more than a bar or line, perhaps based on the shape that appears when light is passed through a prism. Bars of colors convey two basic ideas: Color exists and it has a regular order. A linear form hints at a progression that can be linked to wavelengths or cycles, but it does not accomplish much more. It does not suggest complexities of color relationships and so does not validate other aspects of either practices or ideas. The shape and the placement of color may not be arbitrary, but the value of the system is limited.
Color Tables and Charts
Color tables expand the color bar, literally and figuratively. They offer a similarly recognizable display of information, but one that suggests interior relationships through size, shape, or placement of the colored areas.
Richard Waller's Basic Chart
Richard Waller's, 1686
Noting the lack of a standard for colors in natural philosophy, and inspired by a similar table published in Stockholm, Richard Waller indicated that his "Table of Physiological Colors Both Mixt and Simple," (created in 1686) would permit unambiguous descriptions of the colors of natural bodies. To describe a plant, for example, one could compare it to the chart and use the names found there to identify the colors of the bark, wood, leaves, etc. Similar applications of the information collected in the chart might also extend to the arts and trades, he suggested.
What do adorable animals, whimsical art and colorful design have in common? Design studio Meomi can tell you -- If you love all of the aforementioned things, Meomi may be heaven for you when it comes to art and wallpapers.
Meomi is comprised of two artists, Vicki Wong and Michael Murphy. Together they have created art for an illustrious list of clientele, including Google, Electronic Arts and Nick Jr. Vicki and Michael also act as authors and artists behind the Octonauts series of children's books. Meomi's 2008 wallpaper story takes place in Kachi Kingdom, where you follow the adventures of Johnny Cloudseed, following in his grandfather's footsteps as a seeder and planting seeds that assist the Kachi spirits to grow their "Magical Moments" plants.
Meomi reveal more about Johnny's story month by month as new wallpapers come out (each month's has a calendar on it so you can track the days along with the story.) Their most recent print project is Color Cloud Seeding, in which Meomi explore the lost art of "cloud gardening" in drawings, sketches and photos, creating a crisp wonderland of hues.
About those wallpapers -- Meomi have a whole page of their website dedicated to them that date all the way back to 2002 (when the year ends, they provide the wallpapers with the calendars removed so you can enjoy the art on its own.) I've provided some of them here for you to see, but if you want the full sized versions check out the Meomi website to grab them and make your desktop worth smiling at when you come in on Monday morning.
The Hubble Space Telescope was dropped off in space in April 1990. Since then it has been sending back images that reach beyond our imaginations capturing stars, nebulae and galaxies that would have never been seen without it. The Hubble Telescope also brings us color inspiration from an unexpected place revealing colors that lie light years away.
Capturing color in outer space with the Hubble Telescope is not as simple as with a normal camera using color film. The Hubble's camera records light from the universe using "electronic detectors" which capture two or more separate black and white photos. The resulting colors are not always what the human eye would see in space, but nonetheless, the images created by Hubble and the NASA team are imaginative and stunning.
Read more about the colors captured in space at the bottom of this post.
Image Credit: NASA
Dust pillars are like interstellar mountains. They survive because they are more dense than their surroundings; however, they are being slowly eroded by a hostile environment. Visible in the image above is the end of a huge gas and dust pillar in the Trifid Nebula, punctuated by a smaller pillar pointing up and an unusual jet pointing to the left. The pink dots are newly formed low-mass stars.
Image Credit: NASA
The Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the Stingray Nebula, the youngest known planetary nebula. In this image, the bright central star is in the middle of the green ring of gas. Its companion star is diagonally above it at 10 o'clock. The red curved lines represent bright gas that is heated by a "shock" caused when the central star's wind hits the walls of the bubbles. The nebula is as large as 130 solar systems, but, at its distance of 18,000 light-years, it appears only as big as a dime viewed a mile away. The colors shown are actual colors emitted by nitrogen (red), oxygen (green) and hydrogen (blue).
Water's Early Journey
Image Credit: NASA
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope observed a fledgling solar system, like the one depicted in this artist's concept, and discovered deep within it enough water vapor to fill the oceans on Earth five times. This water vapor starts out in the form of ice in a cloudy cocoon (not pictured) that surrounds the embryonic star, called NGC 1333-IRAS 4B (buried in center of image). Material from the cocoon, including ice, falls toward the center of the cloud. The ice then smacks down onto a dusty pre-planetary disk circling the stellar embryo (doughnut-shaped cloud) and vaporizes. Eventually, this water might make its way into developing planets.
Color is best shown by an artist whose ideas and work can challenge others, creating thoughts and environments that we, the observers, could not see on our own, changing not only the physical space in front of us but also our own created mindset.
Below you will see installations from a culmination of 15 years of work from artist Olafur Eliasson as part of 'Take Your Time' exhibition currently running at the Museum of Modern Art. Along with photographer Branislav Kropilak whose work includes stunning minimalist series of parking garages, trains, building lobbies, and airplane landings.
Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson
A culmination of 15 years of work and the first major exhibition of his work in the united states, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson reaches out to us with questions about existence, morality and our constant search for understanding of ourselves and the world around us. He creates environments and situations that completely surround the observer, but without an observer do not stand on their own.
"We can take in our surroundings, but at the same time be critical about how we do it."
I only see things when they move
Bright light shines through color-filtered glass panels, creating shifting prismatic bands of colors on the surrounding walls
360 degree room for all colors
Since the 19th century, painted panoramas have given viewers a sense of what it feels like to stand in faraway landscapes or participate in historic events. Rather than illustrating a particular scene, Eliasson's installation immerses you in the color spectrum itself.
Color Spectrum kaleidoscope
A hexagonal kaleidoscope made of color-coated glass provides a multicolored, prismatic image of the world.
Almost 4 years ago I had an idea and threw down some code that would allow people to share colors and rate them... Just a few days ago our 1,000,00th color was named and shared on the site. It was only 10 days ago, but since that milestone color was upload... another 32,000 have been shared. That's some serious color love!
The names of colors can do funny things, just check the interesting coincidences thread for more examples... but _stefan, unknowing that the color he named Ego would in fact be our 1 million milestone color. Thank you all for sharing so much color love with us. (And now that the Color API is up and running, some creative folks are going to find some awesome ways to play with that color / name data.)
COLOURlovers Major Color Milestones
Every color on the site is special, but here are some extra special milestone colors.
#100 Ash Brown
#10,000 COLOUR #10000
#50,000 Pear Timer
#250,000 My Marine
Number of Colors Added Per Month
Color Archive: The Top Colors Since We Started
You can browse the color archives all the way back to Dec. of 04 when we started COLOURlovers to see what the top colors were each month. Here are the top 2 colors from each of the last 12 months.
This is the first post in a series on English Color Etymologies. Today we are looking at the colors that come from the names of animals, insects, and flowers, trees and plants.
English is a colorful language. Since its birth among the tribes of Europe, English has built its color vocabulary with the wealth of words it has inherited from Anglo-Saxon, Norman French, Latin, and Greek. Collected here are 172 colors that standard dictionaries (I used the American Heritage and the Random House) classify as specific color nouns (these do not, of course, include the standard ten – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, grey, white – or any Crayola inventions). This treasure of colors is broken down by etymological origin: is the color the name of a flower, an animal, or even a historical person? Some colors appear twice (when I felt two origins were sufficiently different). Others appear only once though they could certainly fit into several categories.
Ever wonder how a color got its name? Refer to the following and enjoy your new grasp on color!
Photo by fortphoto
The plumage, pelts, tusks, shells, and scales of various animals have all lent their names to colors.
Photo by markop
Various insects have been used for dyeing fabric over time and have thus become their own color.
I'd love to share some of my work with you today. I'm about to debut my patterns at the New York Surtex (surface pattern/textile) show on May 18-20. It would be wonderful to see my patterns turn into practical applications. That's how I want to share my art. Perhaps they could be made into wallpaper, wall decals, bedding, you name it. It should be an interesting show (I'm a little nervous). If you're coming please stop by my booth to say hello (booth 1010). Before I show you some stunning ways to add color to your home without the arduous task of taping and painting your walls, here are some of my own patterns for you to see. For more of my work please visit my site.
Samantha Hahn Patterns
And now for some great companies that sell beautiful wallpaper, and decals ready for you to brighten your decor without paint!
Teresa, Teri, Faded Jeans passed away April, 11th... She was a much loved part of our community and she will be greatly missed. A fellow COLOURlover and friend let me know the sad news and I felt it appropriate to let you all know... but, most importantly to share a little of the amazing color love that she left behind with us.
Germany- Teresa Lynne Light, 51, formerly of Kingsport passed away unexpectedly early Friday morning (April 11, 2008) in Attendorn, Germany.
She was born in Warner Robbins, Georgia and had lived the majority of her life in Kingsport until moving to Germany in 2003. Teresa was a graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School in 1975. She worked for the City of Kingsport from 1987 to 2003. She was a talented artist.
Mrs. Light is preceded in death by her mother, Betty Light and her sisters, Judith Smith & Vanessa Webb.
Teresa Light is survived by her husband, Dr. Nils Hoffmann; her daughter, Cara Webster & her husband, Barry; a brother, Steve Light.
A memorial service will be conducted on Saturday (May 3, 2008) at 2 p.m. at Carter-Trent Funeral Home, Kingsport with Ed Clevenger, minister officiating.
Celebrating the Colors of Her Life
I believe in celebrating a life and what I will humbly attempt to do here is to celebrate the colors of her life that she shared with us. I did not have the pleasure of knowing her in the real world, but I appreciate her very much and feel so very honored and touched to have created a place for her to share her inspirations, passions and her heart... a place that will continue to share that and carry her love forward.
Color in photography has come a long way since the first permanent color photo was taking in 1861. Now nearly 150 years later we thought we would take a look and see where and how color developed in photography. Starting with the black and white beginnings.
Monochrome photography implies the act of recording light in a single color or wavelength and includes such types of photographs as black and white, sepia, infrared photography, and X-ray photography.
Oldest surviving photo created in 1826 by inventor Nicéphore Niépce
Black and White
Black and white photography uses neutral tones of gray ranging from near white to near black, or using a grayscale.
Photo by whappen
Photography began with the discovery that silver is a light sensitive chemical. Silver halides, or silver salt compounds, break down when exposed to light and form black metallic silver2. The darker areas of a negative that received more light during exposure block the light that would reach photographic paper during printing, thus allowing the paper to remain whiter in relation to the local negative density. The lighter areas of the negative that received less light during exposure allow more light to pass during printing, darkening those areas of the print.
To pay tribute to the perfect pair of pants, and its attached color, we thought we would take a look at how this all got started by running through the history of blue jeans and their rise in popularity, from old west pioneers to fashion runways across the world, blue jeans have become one of fashion's most iconic wears.
The First Pair of Blue Jeans
The word denim comes from the location of where the original makers of the fabric resided, Nîmes, France. The fabric created by the Andre family was originally called serge de Nîmes but was eventually shortened to denim.
The first denim pants date back to 17th century England, but it wasn't until a 24 year old German immigrant named Levi Strauss moved from New York City to San Fransisco in 1853 that the first 'blue jeans' were created. The story goes; Levi was headed out west to start a west coast branch of his brothers' dry-goods business. Upon arrival to San Fransisco a prospector inquired as to what Mr. Strauss was selling, which at the time was canvas sheets intended to be used for tents and wagon covers. The prospector replied telling Strauss that he should have brought pants instead, because he couldn't find any that would stand up to the harsh conditions of life as a 19th century Californian Prospector. So, Strauss started making canvas waist overalls which became popular with miners. When the miners started complaining about chafing, Struass started looking for a new material for his pants.
Photo by icantshoot
At the same time in Reno, Nevada, a tailor named David Jacobs was constantly fixing the pockets of one of his customers who routinely tore them on his pants made by Jacobs. As a solution Jacobs had the idea of riveting the corners of the pockets, as to reinforce the seams. When the idea showed its brilliance and the pants became more and more popular, Jacobs thought he better patent the idea. The only problem was Jacobs didn't have the money needed to apply for the patent. So he looked to his fabric supplier, who happened to be one Levi Strauss, to find a business partner. So, in 1872 Jacobs writes a proposal to Strauss telling him about his idea and asking him to be his partner. Strauss see the potential of a stronger more durable pant and agrees to the partnership. On May 20, 1873 the U.S. issues them patent no.139,121, this is now considered the 'birthday' of the blue jean.
Blue jeans are unique because of their attachment to one singular color. One of the earliest precursors to jeans was the dungaree, a thick cotton material created in India in the 16th century. The makers of the fabric choose to use indigo as the dye because it was the most prevalent natural dye of the time, and the dark tone made it a good choice for wear and when frequent washing was not possible.
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