HSB colour model

About the HSB colour model

The HSB colour model is an additive colour model used to mix light (subtractive colour models are used to mix pigments and inks).

  • The main difference between the HSB colour model and the RGB colour model is how colours are represented and managed in software and apps.
  • The HSB model represents colours based on hue, saturation, and brightness, while the RGB model mixes red, green, and blue light to create colours.
  • HSB is popular because it offers a user-friendly way to select and modify colours when using applications like Adobe Creative Cloud for design, photography, or web development.
  • On HSB colour wheels, saturation typically increases from the centre towards the edge.

In the HSB colour model:

  • Hue indicates the base colour of an object, so whether it is an orange, cyan, or blue, for example, and is measured as a position on the standard colour wheel in degrees ranging from 0 to 360.
  • Saturation describes the intensity of a colour, ranging from a fully saturated colour (100%) to a dull, washed-out tone that eventually becomes a monochromatic grey (0%).
    • A fully saturated colour is produced by a single wavelength or a narrow range of wavelengths.
  • Brightness refers to the perceived amount of light emitted by a colour, measured as a percentage from 100% (fully lit) to 0% (no light emitted).
    • As the brightness of a fully saturated hue decreases it appears progressively darker.