Colour models

About colour models

A colour model derived from colour theory enables a more precise and reproducible method of representing and working with colour.

  • Colour models are a practical application of colour theory that establish terms, definitions, rules or conventions, and systems of notation for encoding colours and their relationships to one another.
  • These days, the most practical colour models are built into applications such as Adobe Creative Cloud and allow seamless digital output to TVs, computers, phones, or printing onto paper and other surfaces.
  • Understanding colour models and utilizing them effectively can contribute to maintaining consistent and accurate colour reproduction across various media.
  • Widely used colour models include:
  • In addition to the colour models mentioned above, numerous other models are used in specific contexts, such as the Lab colour model employed in printing or the LCH colour model used in digital image processing.

A colour model is a framework that allows us to:

  • Make sense of colour in relation to human vision, the surrounding world, and various media and technologies.
  • Understand the relationship between different colours and their properties.
  • Mix specific colours from other colours to achieve predictable and desired results.
  • Specify colours using names, codes, notations, equations, and other forms of representation.
  • Organise and utilize colour for different purposes, such as design, visual arts, or scientific applications.
  • Use colours in consistent and repeatable ways across different platforms and media.
  • Develop systems and rules for blending and using different media, such as light, pigments, or inks.
  • Create colour palettes, define gamuts, and establish colour guides to guide artistic or design decisions.