Color Terminology

Color Terminology


The study of color brings with it a certain jargon that helps us in a better understanding of the various facets of colors and their combinations. Some are highly technical, meant for artists and designers while others are simple and used in common parlance.

1. Hue: Hue is a synonym for color. Every different wavelength of light produces a different color and this is referred to as hue. There are seven hues- violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.

2. Tint: A tint is achieved by adding white to a color. Pastel colors are obtained in this way. For example, pink is a tint of red, lilac is a tint of purple.

3. Shade: Just as a tint is achieved by adding white to a color, shade is obtained with a hint of black added to a color. For example, crimson is a shade of red and royal purple is a shade of violet.

4. Value: The value of a hue indicates the relative darkness or lightness of a color just exposed to other colors. For example, green has a higher value than purple.

5. Intensity: The intensity or saturation of a color refers to its brightness. When a color is not mixed with either black or white, it is considered to be at its full intensity.