Notes on Colour


Move the slider up and down slowly


Hue may be described as the underlying colour of a colour. A red and a pink may have the same hue (the pink having a higher luminance); a orange and a brown may have the same hue (the brown having a lower saturation and a lower luminance); a red and an yellow, however, must have different hues because they are essentially different colours.

We often describe colours with phrases such as light yellow, deep purple, bright orange or washed-out blue. It may seem that we are specifying a hue—yellow, purple, orange or blue—and a separate quality of brightness, deepness or whatever. But everyday speech is more complicated than that. Even the plain names—yellow, purple, orange, blue and so on—also depend to some extent on the luminance and saturation of the colours.

Deep usually means both well saturated and dark (low in luminance); brightness is an ambiguous term.