Traditional colour theory: A review

Proud to have another peer-reviewed research article published in the leading journal on colour: Color Research and Application.

‘Traditional colour theory: A review’ is a paper that was prompted by David Briggs, president of the Colour Society of Australia, who bemoaned the lack of a definition of traditional colour theory. The paper was also prompted by a relative lack of understanding about this branch of colour theory, especially in terms of its origins, intention, purpose and practical nature. An abbreviated version of this paper is due for publication in the Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology.

Abstract
Colour theories abound in the literature and occur across diverse fields including art, design, physics, psychology, phenomenology, linguistics, and digital technology. Theoretical discourse and output in each of these fields tend to be characterized by differing ontological perspectives and epistemological traditions which in turn, have led to some confusion and misunderstanding when comparing diverse colour theories. Traditional colour theory is just one of these diverse theories of colour and it is one that has attracted debate and criticism despite a relative lack of a clarity about this branch of colour theory.

This article aims to address this gap in the literature and provide a definition of traditional colour theory. The ontological focus and epistemological traditions, gleaned from key colour theorists whose works underpin this branch of colour theory, are discussed as well as the conceptual colour models and constructs common in traditional colour theory. Constructs common in this branch of colour theory include those that focus on colour classification and those that focus on relationships between colour classifications, the latter representing colour application guidelines that are frequently employed as colour strategies in applied design and architecture.

The practical nature of this branch of colour theory is examined with reference to the way in which colour was examined and explored, and the colour classification constructs as well as colour relationship constructs that have segued into a vocabulary that has become a useful lingua franca among design and architecture professionals

Access the paper via this link

Traditional colour theory: A review. Color Research and Application, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp838-847.

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