The Meaning of Color by David Benjamin Kopp – Philosophy

This is a section from Triiibes‘ ‘Color and Form’, a freely distributed eBook available to view and download on Scribd or here.

What does this color mean? A scientist informs us that, ultimately, there is nothing “there” except waves of light we call “color”.

A robot can identify color – even tell you that the color above is composed of red, green and blue in the proportion: 224, 3, 3.

What a robot can’t do is feel how Edgar Robinson felt when he saw a variation of Napthol Crimson for the first time in 1873.

And no scientist can ever discover or predict, how Aamina Badesha will experience the color she creates on her palette tomorrow night.

We humans can assume the roles of both robot and scientist, receiving data and analyzing it. But what we choose to do is much more inter-esting. We let color mean something to us.We let it affect us. Sometimes we communicate that meaning, sometimes we keep it to ourselves, and sometimes, unfortunately, we forget it is there altogether. But for all that science has given us, and it has given us plenty, it can’t give us the meaning of color… try as it might to convince us that the colors of the sunset are really only there to inspire us to procreate.

To experience and create your own symphony of color, buy paint at a local art store, see what colors there are, and bring some home to see what colors you can make. Any color you choose to create will, in all likelihood, be totally unique in the world.If you choose, you can do something with your new color, like give it form, save it as it is, or you can simply look at it and discard it.

David Benjamin Kopp loves doing, making and thinking about things. Mostly creative things. Right now he’s very likely writing a song, making a graphic design or, most likely typing this bio.

Author: evad
David Sommers has been loving color as COLOURlovers' Blog Editor-in-Chief for the past two years. When he's not neck deep in a rainbow he's loving other things with The Post Family (, a Chicago-based art blog, artist collective & gallery.