Posted by: Jack Henry | March 9, 2021

Editor’s Corner: More on Color

Several weeks ago, I sent out a couple of articles on “fancy” colors. These write-ups were about several colors in particular. Today I have words related to colors. The following terms and definitions are from Daily Writing Tips. The assorted screen captures are from the World Wide Web.

Words describing the qualities of color can confuse because they sometimes but not always overlap or are even interchangeable. Here’s a roster of color terms with definitions.

  1. Cast: a change in appearance or color by adding one color over another; also, multiple senses of assigning, depositing, directing, shaping, spreading, turning, or twisting
  2. Chroma: a combination of hue and saturation (see definitions below), or synonymous with saturation[KC – Now this one is confusing to me, because in Greek,
    chroma (or χρώμα) just means
    color. Oh, and happy Greek-American and Irish-American heritage month!]
  3. Chromaticity: the quality of color based on wavelength and purity
  4. Coloration: the condition of coloring, as in skin tone, an arrangement of colors, or the choice or use of colors
  5. Colorway: a color or arrangement of colors [KC – This definition doesn’t seem to be very helpful. Here is an example of a yarn colorway, in this case it’s called the
    “peacock colorway” for obvious reasons.]

  6. Contrast: the degree of difference in colors or light and dark, or their juxtaposition

  7. Hue: color, gradation of color, or the characteristic that distinguishes one color from another
  8. Saturation: purity of color; also, the state of being thoroughly wet, or heavy infiltration [KC – Here’s a nice example of hue, saturation, and brightness (not included on this list of words).]

  1. Pigmentation: coloration caused by the presence of a pigment, a substance that produces a color (or black and white) in a material
  2. Shade: a color produced by a mixture that includes black dye or pigment, or a color somewhat distinct from another, or, as a verb, to produce such a color; also, various meanings associated with the blocking or minimizing of light
  3. Tincture: synonymous with color; also, a trace in a mixture
  4. Tinge: color spread or stained over another color, or, as a verb, to spread or stain one color over another; also, a figurative sense of a light touch or effect, or, as a verb, to touch or effect lightly
  5. Tint: a pale or slight coloration, or lighter or darker variations of a color, or, as a verb, to produce such an effect; also, a slight difference, or hair dye
  6. Tone: a quality of color, or a shade, tint, or value (see definitions)
  7. Value: the lightness or darkness of a color, or the difference in lightness and darkness

There are so many other words associated with color, and it can get a bit confusing without some actual examples. The Alpine paint site has some nice examples if you want to see a bit more about hues, shades, tones, and tints:

And remember, it’s always a good day when you get to see a double rainbow!

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Technical Editor, Advisory

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