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"colour system" Tag


The CMYK Colour Model


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

the CMYK colour model is short for cyan-magenta-yellow-key (black) and refers to all colours as mixtures of these four process colours. so, within this model, a colour would be described through the quotient of cyan, magenta, yellow and black that can be found in the mixture.

the CMYK colour model is predominantly used in the printing process and is often referred to as four-colour printing (which corresponds to the four inks used). in order to fully understand it, it is vital that we examine another colour model named RGB (red, green, blue) that is used in display devices such as computer monitors. so, whatever you see on a screen is in RGB. however, these colours can only be viewed with the aid of natural or produced light – making it impossible for documents to be printed as exact copies of what can be seen on a screen. this is why these documents must have their colours translated into CMYK prior to sending it to the printer.

all the heavily paraphrased information above seems to make sense on a superficial level, but in fact i find it all extremely perplexing and difficult to grasp. unfortunately i never learned the complex language of science and since it is awfully strenuous to translate a language one doesn’t understand, here is the even-more-technical-side explained by someone who seems to know what they are talking about:

“When two RGB colors are mixed equally they produce the colors of the CMYK model, known as subtractive primaries. green and blue creates cyan (C), red and blue creates magenta (M), and red and green creates yellow (Y). black is added to the model because it cannot be created with the 3 subtractive primaries (when combined they create a dark brown). The K, or “key,” stands for black.” (taken from here)

subtractive-colour_redu

upon my investigation, i found that the aspect of the CYMK colour model that i found most compelling was the simple fact that a countless amount of colours are but a mixture of four: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. this thought was inevitably on my mind for days proceeding my research.

 

//

the idea for a translation of the CYMK model came to me when i was listening to Billie holiday’s  1941 version of “am i blue?” over a cup of coffee. it started me off on a long trail of thought which went a little like this:

blue? blue?! how has blue come to mean a sad & melancholic mood or person?

although the colour blue is used to describe a specific feeling, colour can also be used to illustrate mood or atmosphere – for instance – in less direct ways. this is apparent in art, music, poetry, prose… but why do we associate certain moods or meanings with certain colours? and more even-more-generally: why do we often have the urge to illustrate colourless things through colour?

i am extremely fond of the randomness of this occurrence  the randomness of the colour blue (with all its different tones) being chosen to represent something that is beyond blue literally, as a colour, a sensory experience…

 

//

i had the idea of translating the CYMK colour system in a way that i made each colour (cyan, yellow, magenta and black) represent something different. and so i did. i decided that i was going to translate this system into a system that determined the “colour” of one’s day. first, i made a list of things that tend to have an effect on my day. then i selected the four that i felt have the most influence on the “mood” of my day. i proceeded to make them into questions (which can be answered on a scale of 1 to 10):

- how happy/satisfied are you with yourself today? (C)
- how well rested do you feel? (M)
- how good does today’s weather make you feel? (Y)
- how similar is today to yesterday? (K)

each of these questions substitute C, M, Y, and K accordingly. and when answered as a numeral value (from 1 to 10), i have the percentages i need to make a colour with the aid of photoshop. the system i’ve created is therefore a colour-determining tool.

i decided that the colour i’d silkscreen would be the result of my answers to the questions the morning after i created the system. my answers were 5, 5, 3, 1 and made into percentages as shown below:

 

 …and “the colour of my day” beside my silk-screened circle version:

 circle_redu

 

//

i knew that to develop my project further i’d have to send this survey around and ask people to fill it out. therefore, i made an online survey using a survey-making-website (which can be accessed here):

 

this website organized the data which i later used to determine individual colours for each of the 40 people world-wide who answered my survey on the 12th of december, 2013. i mapped out all 40 colours to illustrate the colours of one day, according to the answers of 40 people:

colour-system_redu

 

a problem i encountered on two occasions was that if 10 (being absolutely) was the answer to the last question: how similar is today to yesterday? (K), then the colour would be entirely black. since the other quotients would be cancelled out, i didn’t want this to happen. so instead, i set the percentage as 95% rather than 100%. even though both appear to be black anyway, i like the idea that there are still undertones of colour. and although it did not stay completely ‘honest’ to my original system – at the time i thought it would be a good compromise.

 

//

after i was done with the poster shown above, i decided to design a survey of my own (which i would put online and use if i were any good at computing):

i think through this translated colour system, i managed to play on the randomness of colour representations, but also create a functional and fun system (which also has the potential of becoming interactive).

colour-system_total_redu

 

From colour to sound


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The CMN colour system was created in 1986 in Italy. It shows how colours change. How they can get brighter and eventually become white (bianco) or darker, thus resulting in black (nero). They can also become transparent (trasparente) or reflective (speculare). The CMN-86 colour system is about how colours appear, change and disappear. Going from dark to bright and from reflective to transparent, a specific colour can become very different, this system takes that fact into consideration, as the only one!

This system takes the shape of a tetrahedron, originally met in Plato’s geometrical ideas of colours. It can be combined with other systems in order to not only express the origins of the colours but also reflect the intentions of the observer. C is for “colori” an etymologically interesting word that means “something disguised and revealed”. In other words, something is taken away from white light (original essence) so that the object is revealed.

Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense (for example, hearing) is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses such as sight. Another form of synesthesia joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people’s names with a sensory perception such as smell, color or flavor. The word synesthesia comes from two Greek words, syn (together) and aisthesis (perception). After some research I found out that synesthesia is divided in different types according to what senses are involved. The specific one concerning sound and color  is called Chromesthesia. I wanted to use that as a base for my work and try to find a way to combine this scientific fact with the colour system I’m working on.

Instead of imagining a color moving and evolving into the tetrahedron, let’s imagine a sound.

thus:
Color = sound
Bianco = high pitch
Nero = low pitch
Transparente = puissance
Speculare = delay

I first decided to work with sounds of everyday-life like opening the fridge, cooking, turning the light on. I wanted so see what could happen to this typical sounds within this new system.
These sounds were finally too complex and couldn’t really make the system clear and understandable, I preferred to use a really simple and pure sound and make it move in the system to reveal its logic. I made a book so, while you are listening, you can see where the sound is located on the tetrahedron and, therefore, grasp the system.

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My project consists of the translation of a visual system regarding colour to a visual system regarding sound. The original CMN system shows how colour appears, changes and disappears,  from black to white, across reflection and transparency. This system is a way to apprehend a colour and its nature within a defined scientific tetrahedron-shaped space. Applying it to sound give us a way to approach sounds in a different angle, sounds can become autonomous elements of our environment.
Then, we could imagine to use this system on other matters like smell, touch, feelings, … and give a tangible and reachable reality to the unspeakable.

Colour Made of Light


Thursday, November 29, 2012

 

Research – RGB system

The RGB system [X] is a colour system generated by light. It is based on the light primaries of red, green and blue.When combined, red and green light rays produce yellow, blue and green produce cyan, red and blue produce magenta. Red, green and blue mix to create white (light).[X]

The RGB colour model is additive in the sense that the three light beams are added together, and their light spectra add, wavelength for wavelength, to make the final colour’s spectrum.

The choice of primary colours is related to the physiology of the human eye; good primaries are stimuli that maximize the difference between the responses of the cone cells of the human retina to light of different wavelengths, and that thereby make a large colour triangle.

The RGB system was developed in conjunction with television technology. The surface of the screen is covered by tiny points, each with a diameter of approximately 0.2 mm, containing phosphorescent materials (molecules). Normally, three types are selected to transmit red, green or blue light after excitement by beams of electrons (after they have absorbed energy).

Colours on the television screen are created by a special form of additive light mixture known as a partitive mixture. The partitive light mixture is created because the human eye is incapable of perceiving the many hundreds of thousands of points — the triads of red, green and blue patches into which they are organised — individually, and can only register the mixing effect of all RGB-triads together, with brightness being regulated by the intensity of the electron stream which triggers the phosphorescence.

The cube construction has been verified as the most suitable system for this particular range of colours, with each of its edges being divided into 16 equal parts numbered 1 to 15. These numbers are sufficient to specify the trichromatic composition of each colour.

The eight corner-points of the cube are occupied by red , green and blue, the subtractive primary colours magenta, yellow and Cyan, and the achromatic colours white  and black.

All colours in the RGB system can be concentrated into two subgroups, one centred on white and the other on black. The chromatic form extends from black (0, 0, 0) along the edges of the colours to reach the white tip (15, 15, 15) — the maximum intensity — after passing two corner points.
The RGB colour model itself does not define what is meant by red, green, and blue colormetrically, and so the results of mixing them are not specified as absolute, but relative to the primary colours. When the exact chromaticities of the red, green, and blue primaries are defined, the colour model then becomes an absolute colour space, such as sRGB or Adobe RGB.

 

PROJECT

& silk-screening

 

The colour I silkscreened during the progress of my project was connected to the red I used as a starting point for the RGB project. They were not the same red, but still *red“.  The red I used as a starting point for this project (RGB) was on my mind somehow, I’d been with this red for a while so maybe that’s why I still had it in my head, I don’t usually consciously spend this much time with one specific colour.

I was thinking about this RED, so that was the colour I was most curious about to silkscreen. I liked seeing the red in that process. It became tomatosoup red, not like the red in the project, which reminded me more of blood at the time. But maybe it’s also dependent on your mood, how you see red.

The project began with my research on the RGB system, colour made of light. How you see what you see on a monitor. Your eyes are fooled. What they don’t see, is that what is actually on the screen are millions of tiny dots, molecules that change colour when stimulated by electrons, into red, green or blue. Where they overlap we see yellow, cyan or magenta. And all of the hues that can be formed out of these components (read this research for more). So all of the fantastic images you can see on a screen are just tiny dots changing into three different colours and overlapping. Layers of light form the image. White light illuminates or dims the colour.

This was my starting point and this is what I went into throughout my research on colour. Seeing how colour is or can be composed, by  looking at it like a monitor screen. On which you see an image, but you know it’s actually only dots, and you want to see the dots, but if you do that you have to go up to the screen really close, and then you loose the big picture. Is it possible to see the tiny dots as well as the big picture? For humans, on the monitor this is generally not possible, so I tried to explore this „seeing up close, far away“, on a different medium, than a monitor.

My first experiment, I did on a white paper surface was my „white light“.

On it I applied a shade of red I mixed out of different reds. I used a small soft roll you would usually use for painting walls, which has a sponge effect, it absorbs and release. With this I felt I had more room to  deal with the white paper as a 3D Object not just as a surface. With this sponge roll I could press colour into the sheet of paper as well as absorb it  depending on how wet/dry the paper and/or roll was.

 

 

If I used a lot of water for example, I could  „wash“ the colour out. I would say it was like trying to tear the colour apart, going through all of its layers, and seeing what sort of image this creates.

To this stretching the colour/revealing it’s layers, I added another colour and tryed a more soft approach, using more soft movements to try and get the colours to overlap as they wanted to .

 

 

Basically what I did in the next experiments was working with layers. Concentrating on the single colours and how they change, according to the different tiny particles or pieces they are made up of.

 

 

At some point I worked with black as well as white, to see how colours react when you add light or dark, above or underneath it or both. Sometimes I would let one part dry longer so the different layers of colour wouldn’t mix to see if it made a difference.

 

 

I also tried creating different patterns/structures, to see how a pattern or a structure, for example one made up of dark and light particles underneath the colour, takes an effect when you look at the big picture.

For this I also tried using my lower lip to create a colour pattern to find out if a colour looks different when it is applied in a lower lip pattern.

 

 

The last experiment I did, was cutting material things into small parts so I could mix them and when you see it from far away maybe you see a new colour. I made for example, an orange colour out of khaki fruit skin, and an orange velvet textile, both of which I cut into very small pieces and then mixed. After about two weeks it started to rot, and green mold was added to the colour scheme.

 

With other experiments I got lost in the big picture and it became a more pictorial. Still I was working up close, concentrating on small sections at a time, looking for effects this can have on a colour when you take one (or many) steps back.


Moses Harris, The Natural System of Colors


Thursday, November 29, 2012

 



 

Moses Harris [entemologist engraver 1730 – 1788] examined the work of Isaac Newton, and tried to discover all the variety of colours that can be determined from principal colours : red, blue and yellow
Harris presumed that these colours, when are mixed with each other can form all the colours and tints (660) in the nature.

Nature was his guide and assistant , as the arrangement of the principal colours is systematized according to those reflected by the prism, where we find the orange colour lays between the red and yellow, green between yellow and blue and purple between blue and red.
These colours coming in continues succession gave him the first idea that they should be placed in a circle. He thought that this order agreed with what seems to be demanded by nature.

The nature of the thing divided the the whole into two parts: prismatic and compound

 

 

He noticed that
PRIMITIVES – red yellow and blue are most common especially in wild nature
MEDIATES – orange green and purple are the colours that mother nature decorated most of the flowers

To show all the variety of colours Moses Harris created segmented circle and its identification system.
He applied water colours in layers what allowed the subtle transition between colours and shades.
According to Harris explanation, the primitive prismatic colours each use the use three parts of a single color (red, yellow, or blue) while the mediate prismatic colors are two-to-one combinations of the primaries, determined by their position on the circle.reference. From this information, we can assume that each compartment received at least three washes or layers of color and perhaps as many as twenty, the number of shades or tones Harris designates within his circle. It is unlikely that Harris used as many as twenty color layers to create the deeper tones in these plates, however: It simply was not necessary. The narrowing size of each arc gives the perception of color darkening, and Harris may have taken advantage of that effect, just as he relied on the white paper surface to aid representation of the lighter shades. It is likely that Harris used some smaller number of color washes—three or six, perhaps—for each of the eighteen colors in each of the two circles.

He linked colours with some pigment, fruit or flower

PRIMITIVES:
Red – Vermilion – Wild poppy
Yellow – Kings Yellow – Butter flower
Blue – Ultramarine – Corn flower

MEDIATES:
Orange – Red orpiment – garden Marigold
Green – Sap green – Leaves of the lime-Tree
Purple – Hairy sheep scabius – flower if the common Judas tree

COLOURS CIRCLES

PRISMATIC:
Red, orange-red, red-orange, yellow-orange, orange-yellow, yellow, green-yellow , yellow-green green, blue-green, blue-green-blue, purple-blue, blue-purple-purple, red-purple, purple-red

COMPOUND
Orange, olave-orange, orange-olave-olave,gren-olave, olave-green-green, slate-green, green-slate-slate, purple-slate, slate-purple-purple, brown-purple, purple-brown-Brown, orange-brown,brown-orange

equal amounts of red + blue + yellow = black
equal amounts of purple + green + orange = black

white is seen as the lack of colour

Contrasting colours lay on the opposite sides of the circle
According to Harris his colour system has both practical and philosophical uses. He mentioned an experiment in which blue arises from the orange of the candle flame. These are the contrasting colours that lay in the circle opposite to each other

There is nothing known of the contemporary use of these color circles.

 

MY research OF THE MOSES HARRIS COLOUR SYSTEM

Moses Harris presumed that these colours, when are mixed with each other, can form all the 660 colours and tints  in the nature.
The ones that he himself actually found in the nature were just 6 of them (red yellow blue green orange purple).

Where this small amount of examples comes from? Moses Harris lived in the XVIII century, when there were not many ways of transport and traveling was not easy and common. He was most probably, just looking around in his surrounding.

Nowadays, we live in the globalized world and traveling is an everyday thing. We have planes,  cheap flights and we can reach any place of the world.
Moreover we can also travel in the cyber-space through the internet. Internet is an enormous source, all the world is there. Its a very big source of information. Most of the people use it daily, to search for different kind of info, to  check our email and also for the social networks among which the most popular is Facebook.

Facebook is a huge personal (but not only) information area. Members post

photos from their journeys.  Next to the photos of people and architecture one of the most popular are photos of nature.

I find this modern world and digital media a very interesting topic, that is why I decided to search in the photos of nature taken by my Facebook friends posted during their whole existence on Facebook

I found many photos of nature  in a bunch of different tints, but still many are missing.

I was thinking what would be a great way to present them and decided to make collages  that  take a way a bit the realistic look of plants. make them more abstract ( each 10 tints ) .

 

 

 

 

blue- purple   / purple-red  /  orange-yellow  /  yellow    / yellow-green

I am still in the process of creation. At the moment there are many parts of the Moses Harris circle to be filled in. It leaves the open space for other people. If any of you is interested to search for the nature photos of their friends, please do that and send it to me : a.d.radzimirska@gmail.com
I am pretty sure that together we can fill in every segment of the whole circle of Moses Harris.

 

I feel I know you, Nature.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Johann Wolfgang Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German Writer, artist and politician. Goethe devoted a large part of his life to the study of natural phenomena. Although Goethe especially was known as a poet, he saw his own scientific work as his greatest merit. Yet few had appreciation for Goethe’s scientific work, though some modern scientists, like Henri Bortoft and Reinhold Sölch, get greater understanding of Goethe’s learning.
Johann Wolfgang Goethe analyzed colours from a physical perspective. In his views, there are two basic colours: cyan and yellow. Cyan originates from viewing dark through light, like you view the sky during the day. Yellow originates from viewing light through dark, like you view light in a dark area. Goethe based his colour theory on this interaction between light and dark.
The intensification of the basic colours leads to other colours. If the colour yellow is intensified, it leads to red. If blue is intensified, it leads to violet. This can be seen in the sky when the sun goes down. This is also an explanation for the categorization of cold and warm colours. According to Goethe green is the neutral colour between cold and warm, like the colour of plants. Magenta, or purple as Goethe calls it, is the balanced connection between light and dark, because it carries light as well as dark elements.

 

 

The colour theory of Goethe can thus be seen as the star of David. Two similar shaped triangles lapping over each other: a triangle that faces down and an overlapping triangle that faces up. The triangle that faces up has cyan in the lower left corner, yellow in the lower right corner and magenta in the upper corner. The triangle that faces down has violet in the upper left corner, red in the upper right corner and green in the lower corner. Smaller triangles can be extracted from the two large triangles that show alternative possibilities. In these smaller triangle Goethe pays attention to secondary and tertiary colours. He also analyses colors in relation to psychology. Colours ranging from yellow to red are analyzed as the plus-side, whereas colors ranging to blue are referred to as the minus-side. Here Goethe connotes the plus-side with warm, positive associations and the minus-side with more dark, negative associations. This is what he calls the sensual-moral effect of colours.

The German poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe describes a journey through the Harz Mountains in a very compelling manner, in the middle of the winter. The reader will be absorbed by his writing, like he would be walking around in a painting, when he writes about vague violet shadows of a group of trees and overhanging rocks in the noonday sun lighted by a yellow snow. As the hours pass, these shadows deepen from a deeper blue to a dark yellow-orange tone sunlight. As the sun reaches the horizon and a purple light covers the entire landscape in a red glow, the shadows turn green. Goethe describes almost a fairy-tale like landscape painted in the colors red and green. The story is part of Goethe’s color theory and is a typical example of the empirical experiences on which this theory is based.

Goethe’s color theory was published in three sections: If Beiträge zur Optik I (1791) and II (1792) (part III, Von den Farbigen Treasures remained unpublished), if Didaktischer Teil in 1808 and finally in its entirety, under the title Zur Farbenlehre in 1810. It is an extensive work with a special status in the world of culture and science. From the beginning there were numerous outspoken advocates and critics. Present day Goethe’s color theory is not considered scientific, i.e. not in accordance to the scientific physical principles based on Newton. In the Romanticism around 1800 science was viewed in a much broader sense. Natural philosophers intermingled empirical research with their own vision and passion, based on literature and art. In their views colors were not only physical wavelengths, but also individual observations with the sentimental values and emotions.

Artists, especially landscape painters, felt a deep connection with this way of reflecting on colours. They viewed colours and reproduced them in a manner that the viewer could relive this observation. Pure scientific facts are not enough to describe the color world, in their views.

Twilight sinks down from above us,

Swiftly all the near is far:

But first shining high above us

Radiant is the evening star!

Everything is drifting vaguely,

Mist steals upwards to the height:

And the still lake mirrors darkly

Black abysses of the night.

Now in all the eastern distance

I suspect moon’s gleam and glow,

Slender willow’s trailing branches

Dally with the neighboring flow.

Through the play of moving shadows

Trembling lunar magic shines,

And a soothing coolness follows,

To the heart now, through the eyes.

When I started reading his poems, I immediately linked the poems to his colour theory. The romantic way of describing the natural phenomena inspired me to collect all sentences that actually describe a specific light of the day in different landscapes. His words spoke to my imagination and it naturally formed the idea to search for the landscapes, which refers Goethe to. I found a big collection of images and made a selection out of it. Because Goethe’s Theory was based on the light we see in nature I have chosen a film projection. In this setting the viewer can immediately disappear in the meaningful words centered in a similar surrounding as a sort of meditation.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

 

The moment I had to make silkscreen-printed colour, I was compelled  by the appearance of the moon after reading this poem and tried to bring this feeling back in just one colour.

 

 


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