Monday, October 11, 2010

color arithmetic

X-mas is coming up and it is time to shop for gifts. While tycoons of the financial industry like to splurge in Swiss tourbillons for $400,000 a piece, here in the Silicon Valley the Christmas bonuses are a little more modest. We were looking at the Leica M9 Neiman Marcus Edition Camera, his and hers just $35,000 for the pair. Nathan suggested that the cost might be in hand carving those 18 million pixels, but I think matching ostrich leather trim to the ostrich leather strap might be a larger cost factor.

The color technology going into the design of luxury items is very sophisticated. One of the places to learn the art is the academy of luxury, which is currently rewriting its color text book. The authors wanted to be completely sure they get the admixture of color right. One of the questions was why is sometimes turquoise + fuchsia = purple and other times turquoise + fuchsia = blue?

I wrote up the answer to this and other questions in a manuscript for the upcoming Color Imaging XVI conference at EI 2011. Because a technical paper ought to present new data, I bolted on Nathan's notes on the calibrated lunch we had in the former HP Labs cafeteria a few months ago. It is a first version and has rough edges, but we would appreciate comments on the manuscript. It is available as tech. report Is it turquoise + fuchsia = purple or is it turquoise + fuchsia = blue?


  1. "and finally the student’s head explodes under the epistemological pressures of Itten, Albers, Goethe, Newton, da Vinci, and all the other monsters of color structure."


  2. typo: Page 9, last sentence:

    Dry or dry not, there is no try.