Color Glossary C-G

Overview | Glossary A-B | Glossary C-G | Glossary H-R | Glossary S-Z


Colors or color stimulus differ in the composition of light of different wavelengths (see light) striking on the retina. The color is merely a sensation, not an physical state of an object. Depending on the ambient light, an object can appear to have a different color.

Each different color sensation can be discribed by a particular name for a color. To define these differences exactly, color models were developed, in which colors are assigned numerical values in order to classify them. Optical perceptions like structures or gloss are not covered by the term "color".

A color can be described by its hue, saturation and lightness, for example. The HSV color model follows this classification.

Color Depth

In the context used here, the color depth means the number of displayable colors. According to that, with a color depth of 1 bit 2^1 = 2 colors (monochron) are displayable, with a color depth of 4 bit 2^4 = 16 colors are displayable, with a color depth of 8 bit 2^8 = 256 colors are displayable and with a color depth of 24 bit 2^24 = 16777216 colors (tagged as True Color) are displayable with the according system. This value resurfaces for example at the color coding TColor. Today's computer monitors and graphic cards usually come with a color depth of 24 bits, which usually is sufficient for realistic depictions. In the area of film, printing and scanning there is often used a color depth from 30 to 48 bit.

Color Mixture

There is a distinction between the additive and the subtractive color mixture. The autotypical color mixture combines the additive and the subtractive color mixture. The RGB Color Model is based on the additive color mixture, the CMY Color Model on the subtractive color mixture. The difference between theese two models is shown by the grey color chart impressively: In the RGB color model, black is accounted by 0% of all portions, while it is 100% of all portions in the CMY color model. Vice versa it is for white: In the RGB color model for white 100% of all color portions are necessary, in the CMY color model 0%.

Color Model

The color model delivers a body within a color is defined by a unique numerical value. This numerical value is called color position. An example of a color model is the RGB color model which is based on the additive mixture of colors. The RGB color model can be imagine as a cube or a three-dimensional system of coordinates, in which there is a red-axis, a green-axis and a blue-axis. Depending on the coordinate results another color position and hence another color. For example, the coordinate or the color position 0/0/0 is accordingly black, 255/255/255 white. An overview of the relevant color models you get on the topic color models.

Color Space

The color space contains all the colors of a color model, which can actually be displayed or printed by a chromophore method. The chromophore method includes all equipment and materials, which may represent colors, for example monitors, printers or lightnings. Each method has its own color space.


Additive Mixture of Color | Autotypical Mixture of Color | Blackness Value | CIE Norm Valent System | CMY Farbmodell | CMYK Farbmodell | Colors | Color Depth | Color Mixture | Color Model | Color Space | Hue | HSV Color Model | Light | Lightness | Process-Color Printing | RGB Color Model | Saturation | Spectral Composition | Subtractive Mixture of Color | TColor | Web Colors | XYZ (CIE Norm Valent System)