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COLOR HARMONY: HISTORICAL REVIEW JosĂŠ Luis CAIVANO caivano@fadu.uba.ar

University of Buenos Aires and National Council for Research Argentine Color Group


Ostwald: 12 principles of harmony 1923 Die Harmonie der Farben

Wilhelm Ostwald [1853-1932]


OSTWALD HARMONIES

1. Harmony of grays: This is the most simple harmony. The combinations can be made with equal intervals (small or big) or with unequal intervals at increasing or decreasing distance.


OSTWALD HARMONIES

2. Harmonies of equal white content


OSTWALD HARMONIES

3. Harmonies of equal black content


OSTWALD HARMONIES

4. Harmonies of equal chromaticity


OSTWALD HARMONIES

5. Monochromatic harmonies that combine different series


OSTWALD HARMONIES

6. Circles of equal white content and equal black content


OSTWALD HARMONIES

7. Complementary pairs in circles of equal white content and equal black content


OSTWALD HARMONIES

8. Transverse complementary pairs


OSTWALD HARMONIES

9. Non-complementary pairs


OSTWALD HARMONIES 10. Harmonies of two and three colors: a) Any two colors of the same hue b) Two colors of any hue with the same notation in letters c) Any color with the two grays that have the same letters d) Any two colors with the first letter in common e) Any two colors in which the first letter of one is equal to the second letter of the other f) Any two colors with the second letter in common g) Any two colors with a third color whose notation is a combination of the letters of the other two


OSTWALD HARMONIES

11. Harmonies with various colors


OSTWALD HARMONIES

12a. Circle with 24 colors of different hue and equal chromaticity, white content and black content

12b. Another circle related to the previous one through a line of constancy


Munsell: 9 principles of harmony 1921 Munsell and Cleland: A grammar of color

Albert Munsell [1858-1918]


neutral axis

MUNSELL HARMONIES

Concept of balance in relation to chroma (chroma is the strenght of color) In this case there is no balance: red has a strongest chroma than blue-green


MUNSELL HARMONIES

bluegreen red

bluegreen

red

Concept of balance in relation to chroma


MUNSELL HARMONIES

red of chroma 10

blue-green of chroma 5

Concept of balance in relation to chroma


MUNSELL HARMONIES

1. Grays equally spaced with center in N5


value

MUNSELL HARMONIES

2. Monochromatic colors equally spaced and centered in a middle value and chroma chroma


MUNSELL HARMONIES

3. Opposite colors of equal chroma at the same level of N5


MUNSELL HARMONIES

(6 parts)

(12 parts)

(4 parts)

(6 parts)

4. Opposite colors of equal value and different chroma, with areas in inverse ratio to the chroma


MUNSELL HARMONIES

5. Opposite colors of equal chroma and different value with center in N5


MUNSELL HARMONIES

(6 parts)

(12 parts)

6. Opposite colors of different value and chroma, with areas in inverse ratio to the chroma


MUNSELL HARMONIES

7. Neighboring hues and split-complementaries: a) Neighboring hues of equal chroma


MUNSELL HARMONIES

(4 parts)

(8 parts)

(12 parts)

7. Neighboring hues and split-complementaries: b) Neighboring hues of different chroma


MUNSELL HARMONIES

7. Neighboring hues and split-complementaries: c) Complementary hues, with one of them split into its neighbors


MUNSELL HARMONIES

8. Diminishing sequencies


MUNSELL HARMONIES

9. The elliptical path: a) Opposite hues of equal value and chroma, and sequences of intermediate colors of equal value


MUNSELL HARMONIES

9. The elliptical path: b) Opposite hues of different value and equal chroma, and sequences of intermediate colors varying in value and chroma in regular steps


MUNSELL HARMONIES

9. The elliptical path: c) Opposite hues of equal value and chroma, and sequences of intermediate colors varying in value and chroma


VillalobosDomĂ­nguez: color transposition 1947 Colour atlas

Julio Villalobos [1905-?]


VILLALOBOSDOMÍNGUEZ color transposition


Itten: 7 contrasts of color 1961 Kunst der Farbe

Johannes Itten [1888-1967]


CONTRASTS: Johannes Itten, contrast of hue


CONTRASTS: Johannes Itten, light-dark contrast


CONTRASTS: Johannes Itten, warm-cold contrast


CONTRASTS: Ellen Marx, warm-cold contrast


CONTRASTS: Johannes Itten, contrast of complementaries


CONTRASTS: Johannes Itten, simultaneous contrast


CONTRASTS: Johannes Itten, contrast of saturation


CONTRASTS: Johannes Itten, contrast of extension


CONTRASTS: Ellen Marx, contrast of extension


CONTRASTS: Ellen Marx, contrast of extension


CONTRASTS: Ellen Marx, contrast of extension


CONTRASTS: Ellen Marx, contrast of extension


Jannello: logical color harmonies about 1980

CĂŠsar V. Jannello [1918-1985]


JANNELLO HARMONIES

Logical harmonies with hue, lightness, saturation (HLS)


HARMONIES after JANNELLO

Logical harmonies with cyan, magenta, yellow (CMY)


HARMONIES after JANNELLO

Logical harmonies with red, green, blue (RGB)


Nemcsics: polychrome harmonies 1990 SzĂ­ndinamika (Color dynamics) Antal Nemcsics [1927-]


NEMCSICS HARMONIES

Monochrome harmony


NEMCSICS HARMONIES

Dichrome harmony


NEMCSICS HARMONIES

Trichrome harmony


NEMCSICS HARMONIES

Tetrachrome harmony


Another possibility: Basing the color harmonies on statistical studies and surveys. The results are, yet, contradictory, because there are so many factors: • the enoumous quantity of possible color combinations; • the perceptual conditions and the illumination in which the surveys are carried out; • the differences in age, sex, nationality and cultural and social background of the observers.


Lozano: color schemes in environmental design 1978 El color y su medici贸n [Color and its measurement] Roberto Daniel Lozano [1934-]


As regards the hue of color: warm colors are advisable if: • the space is open to the south in the southern hemisphere, or to the north in the northern hemisphere • the average temperature in the room is low • the room is very large • the background noise is low • the texture of the existing elements is moderate • the activity to be performed does not imply physical effort • the time of permanence is short • a stimulating atmosphere is desired • the illumination is cold fluorescent


As regards the hue of color: cold colors are advisable if: • the room is open to the north in the southern hemisphere, or to the south in the northern hemisphere • the average temperature of the room is high • the room is very small • the background noise is high • the texture of the elements stands out • the activity to be performed requires physical effort • the time of permanence is long • a soothing atmosphere is desire • the illumination is incandescent or fluorescent warm


With respect to the saturation of the colors: colors should be saturated if: • the time of permanence is short or must be short • a lively atmosphere is desired • the background noise is low • taste and olfactory senses does not play an important role while the colors should be nonsaturated if: • • • •

the time of permanence is long a relaxed atmosphere is desired the noise level is high taste and olfactory senses are important


As regards contrast (of luminosity, saturation, or hue): it is advisable to use an elevated contrast if: • • • •

the time of permanence is short the room is very large a lively and exciting atmosphere is desired the walls are smooth

it is advisable not to employ contrasting combinations if: • • • •

the time of permanence is long the room is small a soothing atmosphere is desired the walls are textured


Association Internationale de la Couleur International Color Association Internationale Vereinigung f端r die Farbe

www.aic-color.org

color harmony  

historical review of color harmony

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