Determine Complementary Color

What are the different color models?

There are countless color models used by various fields such as science, art, graphic design, printing, photography, video editing and others. There are always new models or variations of existing models. However, there are many common color models such as RGB, CMYK, HSL, HSV, LAB, XYZ, YUV, LCH, etc. Choosing the right color model depends on what purpose the colors will be used for, as each color model has its own pros and cons. Some common ones are described here:

What is the HEX color model?

In color theory, the HEX code refers to a six-digit alphanumeric representation of a color. The abbreviation HEX stands for "hexadecimal", which indicates the number system used.

The HEX code is often used to represent colors in web design, graphic design, and other digital media. It consists of six characters consisting of the numbers 0-9 and the letters A-F. Each pair of characters in HEX code represents a Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) portion of the color.

For example, the HEX code #FF0000 represents the color red. The first two characters (FF) represent the red component, while the remaining characters (0000) have no green or blue components.

The HEX code allows designers and developers to represent color in an accurate and reproducible manner, regardless of the viewer's screen or display settings.

What is the RGB model?

The RGB model is a color model in color theory based on additive color mixing. It stands for red, green and blue, the primary colors in this model.

In the RGB model, all colors can be created by combining red, green, and blue in different proportions. When all three colors are mixed in equal proportions, white is formed. If none of the three colors are present, the result is black.

The RGB model is commonly used in the representation of color in electronic devices such as televisions, computer monitors, and cell phones. Most electronic displays are based on the emission of light through three primary colors (red, green and blue) and can therefore display a wide range of colors by varying the intensities of these three colors.

What is the CMYK model?

The CMYK model is a color model used in the printing industry to create printed products. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black (key), which are the colors used in this model to create all other colors.

The CMYK model is based on the principle of subtractive color mixing, in which color is created by absorbing light. This means that when colors are printed on paper, they absorb light and the reflected color is what the human eye perceives.

In the CMYK model, colors are created by mixing cyan, magenta and yellow to create a wide range of hues . Black (key) is added to increase color depth and contrast and to ensure that no unwanted color variations occur when printing takes place.

The CMYK model is widely used in the printing industry to create magazines, brochures, posters and other printed materials. It is important to note that the CMYK model is not suitable for screen or web design as the colors displayed on a screen are based on additive color mixing (RGB).

What is the HSL color model?

The HSL (Hue, Saturation, Lightness) model defines color in terms of three main components:

Hue: This is the hue of the color, represented by a number between 0 and 360 degrees. A value of 0 degrees corresponds to red, 120 degrees corresponds to green, and 240 degrees corresponds to blue. The values in between correspond to mixtures of these colors.

Saturation: Saturation describes how pure or pale the color is and is specified as a value between 0% (no saturation, i.e. grey) and 100% (full saturation).

Lightness: Lightness describes how light or dark the color is and is also specified as a value between 0% (black) and 100% (white).

The HSL model is particularly useful when it comes to changing colors or finding color combinations, as it provides an intuitive way to understand the effects of color changes.

What color models are there besides HEX, RGB, CMYK and HSL?

There are many other color models besides HEX, RGB, CMYK and HSL. Some of the most important are:

  • Lab: Lab is a color model developed by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE). It is a device-independent model and allows accurate description of colors regardless of the characteristics of the device used.
  • YUV: YUV is a color model used in video and television technology. It separates lightness (Y) from color (UV) and is used to encode and decode video signals.
  • HSV: HSV stands for Hue, Saturation, Value. It is an alternative to the HSL color model and is often used in image processing and graphic design.
  • XYZ: XYZ is a color space defined by the CIE. It is a device-independent model and is used to describe colors precisely and to quantify color differences.
  • LCH: LCH stands for Lightness, Chroma, and Hue. It is an extended color model from Lab that describes color using the three parameters brightness, chroma and hue.
  • Munsell: The Munsell color system is a color space based on the color perception of the human eye. It is a cylindrical model that describes the hue, saturation and lightness.

This list is not exhaustive, there are many other color models used in different applications.

Why isn't the conversion between different color models perfect?

Conversion between different color models such as HSL and HEX is not always perfect as they rely on different mathematical formulas and assumptions. There are also certain rounding errors that can occur with any conversion.

An example: If the color HSL 180°, 50%, 10% is converted to HEX, the HEX code is #0D2626. If this HEX code is converted back to HSL, the result is HSL 180°, 49.02%, 10% and not HSL 180°, 50%, 10% again.

In this particular case, HSL 180°, 50%, 10% is converted to #0D2626 by directly translating the H value (180°) to the HEX value (0D) and the S and L values be converted to the green and blue channels of the HEX value (S-50% corresponds to 26 in HEX format and L-10% also corresponds to 26 in HEX format).

If you then try to convert the HEX value #0D2626 back to HSL, there may be slight discrepancies due to rounding errors. The H value in this case is again calculated directly from the HEX value (0D), while the S and L values are calculated from the green and blue components (S-49.02% and L-10%). The slight 0.98% deviation in the S value may be caused by rounding errors during conversion.

Overall, it is normal for small differences to occur when converting between different color models. These deviations are usually very small and do not significantly affect color perception.