Color Space and Its Divisions: Color Order from Antiquity to the Present

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John Wiley & Sons, Apr 28, 2003 - Technology & Engineering - 422 pages
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It has been postulated that humans can differentiate between millions of gradations in color. Not surprisingly, no completely adequate, detailed catalog of colors has yet been devised, however the quest to understand, record, and depict color is as old as the quest to understand the fundamentals of the physical world and the nature of human consciousness. Rolf Kuehni’s Color Space and Its Divisions: Color Order from Antiquity to the Present represents an ambitious and unprecedented history of man’s inquiry into color order, focusing on the practical applications of the most contemporary developments in the field.

Kuehni devotes much of his study to geometric, three-dimensional arrangements of color experiences, a type of system developed only in the mid-nineteenth century. Color spaces are of particular interest for color quality-control purposes in the manufacturing and graphics industries. The author analyzes three major color order systems in detail: Munsell, OSA-UCS, and NCS. He presents historical and current information on color space developments in color vision, psychology, psychophysics, and color technology. Chapter topics include:

  • A historical account of color order systems
  • Fundamentals of psychophysics and the relationship between stimuli and experience
  • Results of perceptual scaling of colors according to attributes
  • History of the development of mathematical color space and difference formulas
  • Analysis of the agreements and discrepancies in psychophysical data describing color differences
  • An experimental plan for the reliable, replicated perceptual data necessary to make progress in the field

Experts in academia and industry, neuroscientists, designers, art historians, and anyone interested in the nature of color will find Color Space and Its Divisions to be the authoritative reference in its field.


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Chapter 1 The Concept of Color Space and Color Solid
Chapter 2 Historical Development of Color Order Systems
Chapter 3 Psychophysics
Chapter 4 Color Attributes and Perceptual Attribute Scaling
Chapter 5 Psychophysical Scaling of Color Attributes Stimulus and Perception
Chapter 6 Historical Development of Color Space and Color Difference Formulas
Chapter 7 Major Color Order Systems and Their Psychophysical Structure
Chapter 8 From ColorMatching Error to Large Color Differences
Chapter 9 Conclusions and Outlook

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Page 380 - Scales of the Optical Society of America. Journal of the Optical Society of America 68:1616-1619.
Page 381 - Nickerson, An analysis of the Munsell color system based on measurements made in 1919 and 1926, J.

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About the author (2003)

ROLF G. KUEHNI is an Adjunct Professor at North Carolina State University. Well known in the color science community as an expert in dyes and related materials, he is the author of Color: An Introduction to Practice and Principles, also published by Wiley.

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