10. The Web of Color

  1. Rolf G. Kuehni

Published Online: 9 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118533567.ch10

Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, Third Edition

Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, Third Edition

How to Cite

Kuehni, R. G. (2012) The Web of Color, in Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118533567.ch10

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 9 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 9 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118173848

Online ISBN: 9781118533567



  • color order;
  • color science;
  • color technology;
  • International Commission on Illumination (CIE);
  • World Color Survey (WCS)


Human ideas concerning the nature, purposes, and uses of color form a densely interwoven historical web. This chapter presents a brief history of these ideas with the primary focus on general and scientific aspects. Colors were associated with the assumed four elements of the material world. The idea of color scales based on brightness was revived and quantified to some degree in the Renaissance. Color order continued to make progress as well. International Commission on Illumination (CIE) recommendations for mathematical description of various perceptual effects based on spectral sensitivity functions, such as color rendering of light sources and the changes in perceived color resulting from adaptation to different light sources, were also developed. Various revisions of the original hypothesis and various methods of analysis of the World Color Survey (WCS) data have been published since then, with a “final” version published in 2009.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

light sources; lighting