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A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast,
dye A dye is a color Color (American English) or colour (Commonwealth English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property corresponding in humans to the categories called ''blue'', ''green'', ''red'', etc. Colo ...
s are typically soluble, at least at some stage in their use. Generally dyes are often
organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains with other carbon s), millions of organic compounds are known. The study of the properties, reactions, and syntheses of organic compounds compr ...
s whereas pigments are often
inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, m ...
s. Pigments of prehistoric and historic value include
ochre Ochre ( ; from grc, ὤχρα, from , , pale), or ocher in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language nativ ...
,
charcoal or soil, and firing it (circa 1890) Charcoal is a lightweight black carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalence, tetravalent ...

charcoal
, and
lapis lazuli Lapis lazuli (; ), or lapis for short, is a deep-blue metamorphic rock used as a semi-precious stone A gemstone (also called a gem, fine gem, jewel, precious stone, or semi-precious stone) is a piece of mineral In geology Geology (from ...

lapis lazuli
.


Economic impact

In 2006, around 7.4 million tons of
inorganic In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they under ...
,
organic Organic may refer to: * Organic, of or relating to an organism, a living entity * Organic, of or relating to an anatomical organ (anatomy), organ Chemistry * Organic matter, matter that has come from a once-living organism, is capable of decay or ...
, and special pigments were marketed worldwide. Estimated at around US$14.86 billion in 2018 and will rise at over 4.9% CAGR from 2019 to 2026. The global demand for pigments was roughly US$20.5 billion in 2009. According to an April 2018 report by ''
Bloomberg Businessweek ''Bloomberg Businessweek'', previously known as ''BusinessWeek'', is an American weekly business magazine, published 50 times a year. Since 2009, the magazine is owned by New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is t ...
'', the estimated value of the pigment industry globally is $30 billion. The value of
titanium dioxide Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium(IV) oxide or titania , is the inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical ...
– used to enhance the white brightness of many products – was placed at $13.2 billion per year, while the color
Ferrari Ferrari (; ) is an Italian luxury sports car manufacturer based in , Italy. Founded by in 1939 out of the race division as ''Auto Avio Costruzioni'', the company built in 1940, and produced its first Ferrari-badged car in 1947. acquire ...

Ferrari
red is valued at $300 million each year.


Physical principles

Like all materials, the color of pigments arises because they absorb only certain wavelengths of
visible light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined as having wavelengths in the range of 400–700 nano ...

visible light
. The bonding properties of the material determine the wavelength and efficiency of light absorption. Light of other wavelengths are reflected or scattered. The reflected light spectrum defines the
color Color (American English) or colour (Commonwealth English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property corresponding in humans to the categories called ''blue'', ''green'', ''red'', etc. Color derives from the sp ...

color
that we observe. The appearance of pigments is sensitive to the source light. Sunlight has a high
color temperature The color temperature of a light source is the temperature Temperature is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy, present in all matter, which is the source of the occurrence of heat, ...

color temperature
and a fairly uniform spectrum. Sunlight is considered a standard for white light. Artificial light sources are less uniform. Color spaces used to represent colors numerically must specify their light source.
Lab color
Lab color
measurements, unless otherwise noted, assume that the measurement was recorded under a D65 light source, or "Daylight 6500 K", which is roughly the
color temperature The color temperature of a light source is the temperature Temperature is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy, present in all matter, which is the source of the occurrence of heat, ...

color temperature
of sunlight. Other properties of a color, such as its saturation or lightness, may be determined by the other substances that accompany pigments. Binders and fillers can affect the color.


History

Minerals have been used as colorants since prehistoric times. Early humans used
paint Paint is any pigmented liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers to a fluid flow, flow in which the material densi ...

paint
for aesthetic purposes such as body decoration. Pigments and paint grinding equipment believed to be between 350,000 and 400,000 years old have been reported in a
cave A cave or cavern is a natural void in the ground Ground may refer to: * Soil, a mixture of clay, sand and organic matter present on the surface of the Earth * Ground (electricity), the reference point in an electrical circuit from which voltag ...

cave
at Twin Rivers, near
Lusaka Lusaka ( ) is the capital city, capital and largest city of Zambia. It is one of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa. Lusaka is in the southern part of the central plateau at an elevation of about . , the city's population was about ...

Lusaka
,
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia (Bemba language, Bemba:'' Icalo ca Zambia''; Tonga language (Zambia and Zimbabwe), Tonga: ''Cisi ca Zambia''; Lozi language, Lozi: ''Naha ya Zambia''; Chewa language, Nyanja: ''Dziko la Zambia''), ...

Zambia
.
Ochre Ochre ( ; from grc, ὤχρα, from , , pale), or ocher in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language nativ ...
, iron oxide, was the first color of paint. A favored blue pigment was derived from
lapis lazuli Lapis lazuli (; ), or lapis for short, is a deep-blue metamorphic rock used as a semi-precious stone A gemstone (also called a gem, fine gem, jewel, precious stone, or semi-precious stone) is a piece of mineral In geology Geology (from ...

lapis lazuli
. Pigments based on minerals and clays often bear the name of the city or region where they were originally mined. Raw Sienna and
Burnt Sienna Burnt Sienna may refer to: * Burnt sienna, an earth pigment * ''Burnt Sienna'' (album), a 1992 album by Azalia Snail * "Burnt Sienna" (song), a 1993 song by Margaret Urlich {{disambiguation ...
came from
Siena Siena ( , ; in English sometimes spelled Sienna; lat, Sena Iulia) is a city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science En ...

Siena
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
, while Raw Umber and Burnt Umber came from
Umbria Umbria ( , ) is a of central . It includes Lake and , and is crossed by the River . It is the only landlocked region on the . The regional capital is . The region is characterized by hills, mountains, valleys and historical towns such as the un ...

Umbria
. These pigments were among the easiest to synthesize, and chemists created modern colors based on the originals. These were more consistent than colors mined from the original ore bodies, but the place names remained. Also found in many
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek wikt:παλαιός, palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of ...
and
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
cave painting Cave paintings are a type of parietal art In archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropo ...

cave painting
s are Red Ochre, anhydrous Fe2O3, and the hydrated Yellow Ochre (Fe2O3.H2O). Charcoal—or carbon black—has also been used as a black pigment since prehistoric times. The first known synthetic pigment was
Egyptian blue Egyptian blue, also known as calcium copper silicate (CaCuSi4O10 or CaOCuO(SiO2)4 (calcium copper tetrasilicate)) or cuprorivaite, is a pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dy ...

Egyptian blue
, which is first attested on an alabaster bowl in Egypt dated to
Naqada III Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture The Naqada culture is an archaeological culture of Chalcolithic Predynastic Egypt (c. 4000–3000 BC), named for the town of Naqada, Qena Governorate. A 2013 Oxford University radio carbon da ...
(''circa'' 3250 BC). Egyptian blue (blue frit), calcium copper silicate CaCuSi4O10, made by heating a mixture of
quartz Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silica (silicon dioxide). The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen Tetrahedral molecular geometry, tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, ...

quartz
sand,
lime Lime refers to: * Lime (fruit), a green citrus fruit * Lime (material), inorganic materials containing calcium, usually calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide * Lime (color), a color between yellow and green Lime may also refer to: Botany * Austra ...

lime
, a
flux of \mathbf(\mathbf) with the unit normal vector \mathbf(\mathbf) ''(blue arrows)'' at the point \mathbf multiplied by the area dS. The sum of \mathbf\cdot\mathbf dS for each patch on the surface is the flux through the surface Flux describes ...
and a
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...

copper
source, such as
malachite Malachite is a copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and elec ...

malachite
. Already invented in the Predynastic Period of Egypt, its use became widespread by the 4th Dynasty. It was the blue pigment par excellence of
Roman antiquity In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753 BC ...
; its art technological traces vanished in the course of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
until its rediscovery in the context of the
Egyptian campaign The French campaign in Egypt and Syria (1798–1801) was Napoleon, Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman territories of Ottoman Egypt, Egypt and Ottoman Syria, Syria, proclaimed to defend French First Republic, French trad ...
and the excavations in
Pompeii Pompeii (, ) was an ancient city located in what is now the ''comune The (; plural: ) is a of , roughly equivalent to a or . Importance and function The provides essential public services: of births and deaths, , and maintenan ...

Pompeii
and
Herculaneum Herculaneum ( it, Ercolano) was an ancient town, located in the modern-day ''comune The (; plural: ) is a basic Administrative division, constituent entity of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and f ...

Herculaneum
. Later premodern synthetic pigments include
white lead White lead is the basic lead carbonate 2PbCO3·Pb(OH)2. It is a complex salt, containing both carbonate and hydroxide ions. White lead occurs naturally as a mineral, in which context it is known as hydrocerussite, a hydrate In chemistry Ch ...
(basic lead carbonate, (PbCO3)2Pb(OH)2),
vermilion File:Lacquerware-roundbox-w-children.jpg, A Chinese "cinnabar red" carved lacquer box from the Qing dynasty (1736–1795), National Museum of China, Beijing Vermilion (sometimes spelled vermillion) is both a brilliant red or scarlet (color), sc ...

vermilion
,
verdigris Verdigris is the common name for a green Green is the between and on the . It is evoked by light which has a of roughly 495570 . In systems, used in painting and color printing, it is created by a combination of yellow and ; in th ...
, and
lead-tin-yellow Lead-tin-yellow is a yellow pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dyes are typically soluble, at least at some stage in their use. Generally dyes are often organic compound , C ...
. Vermilion, a
mercury Mercury usually refers to: * Mercury (planet) Mercury is the smallest planet in the Solar System and the closest to the Sun. Its orbit around the Sun takes 87.97 Earth days, the shortest of all the Sun's planets. It is named after the Roman g ...

mercury
sulfide Sulfide (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, whi ...

sulfide
, was originally made by grinding a powder of natural
cinnabar Cinnabar () or cinnabarite (), likely deriving from the grc, κιννάβαρι (), is the bright scarlet to brick-red form of mercury(II) sulfide (HgS). It is the most common source ore for refining elemental mercury, and is the historic sou ...

cinnabar
. From the 17th century on, it was also synthesized from the elements. It was favored by old masters such as
Titian Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio (; 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian ( ), was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Ital ...
.
Indian yellow Indian yellow is a complex pigment consisting primarily of euxanthic acid Salt (chemistry), salts (magnesium euxanthate and calcium euxanthate), euxanthone and sulphonated euxanthone. It was also known as purree, snowshoe yellow, gaugoli, gogili ...
was once produced by collecting the urine of cattle that had been fed only
mango A mango is an edible stone fruit ), showing both fruit and seed Image:Nectarine Fruit Development.jpg, 300px, The development sequence of a typical drupe, a smooth-skinned (Peach#Nectarines, nectarine) type of peach (''Prunus persica'') over ...

mango
leaves. Dutch and Flemish painters of the 17th and 18th centuries favored it for its
luminescent Luminescence is spontaneous emission of light Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be visual perception, perceived by the human eye. Visible light is usually defined ...
qualities, and often used it to represent
sunlight Sunlight is a portion of the given off by the , in particular , , and light. On , sunlight is and through , and is obvious as when the Sun is above the . When direct is not blocked by s, it is experienced as sunshine, a combination of b ...

sunlight
. Since mango leaves are nutritionally inadequate for cattle, the practice of harvesting Indian yellow was eventually declared to be inhumane. Modern hues of Indian yellow are made from synthetic pigments. Vermillion has been partially replaced in by cadmium reds. Because of the cost of
lapis lazuli Lapis lazuli (; ), or lapis for short, is a deep-blue metamorphic rock used as a semi-precious stone A gemstone (also called a gem, fine gem, jewel, precious stone, or semi-precious stone) is a piece of mineral In geology Geology (from ...

lapis lazuli
, substitutes were often used.
Prussian blue Prussian blue (also known as Berlin blue or, in painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, ...

Prussian blue
, the oldest modern synthetic pigment, was discovered by accident in 1704. By the early 19th century, synthetic and metallic blue pigments included , a synthetic form of
lapis lazuli Lapis lazuli (; ), or lapis for short, is a deep-blue metamorphic rock used as a semi-precious stone A gemstone (also called a gem, fine gem, jewel, precious stone, or semi-precious stone) is a piece of mineral In geology Geology (from ...

lapis lazuli
. Ultramarine was manufactured by treating
aluminium silicate Aluminium silicate (or aluminum silicate) is a name commonly applied to chemical compounds which are derived from aluminium oxide Aluminium oxide is a chemical compound of aluminium Aluminium (aluminum in American English, American and ...
with
sulfur Sulfur (in nontechnical British English: sulphur) is a with the  S and  16. It is , and lic. Under , sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with a chemical formula . Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow, line solid at . Sul ...

sulfur
. Various forms of
Cobalt Cobalt is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical element ...

Cobalt
and
Cerulean blue Cerulean (), also spelled caerulean, is a shade of blue Blue is one of the three primary color, primary colours of pigments in painting and traditional colour theory, as well as in the RGB color model, RGB colour model. It lies between V ...
were also introduced. In the early 20th century, , a synthetic metallo-organic pigment was prepared. At the same time,
Royal Blue Royal blue is both a bright shade and a dark shade of azure blue Blue is one of the three primary color, primary colours of pigments in painting and traditional colour theory, as well as in the RGB color model, RGB colour model. It lies ...
, another name once given to tints produced from lapis lazuli, has evolved to signify a much lighter and brighter color, and is usually mixed from Phthalo Blue and
titanium dioxide Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium(IV) oxide or titania , is the inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical ...
, or from inexpensive synthetic blue dyes. The discovery in 1856 of
mauveine Mauveine, also known as aniline purple and Perkin's mauve, was one of the first synthetic dyes. It was discovered serendipitously by William Henry Perkin in 1856 while he was attempting to synthesise the phytochemical quinine for the treatment o ...
, the first
aniline dye Aniline is an organic compound with the chemical formula, formula Carbon, C6Hydrogen, H5Nitrogen, NH2. Consisting of a phenyl group attached to an amino group, aniline is the simplest aromatic amine. It is an industrially significant Commodity che ...
, was a forerunner for the development of hundreds of
synthetic dye A dye is a color Color (American English) or colour (Commonwealth English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property corresponding in humans to the categories called ''blue'', ''green'', ''red'', etc. Colo ...
s and pigments like azo and
diazo The diazo group is an organic moiety Moiety may refer to: * Moiety (chemistry), a part or functional group of a molecule * Moiety (kinship), either of two groups into which a society is divided * A division of society in the Iroquois government ...
compounds. These dyes ushered in the flourishing of organic chemistry, including systematic designs of colorants. The development of organic chemistry diminished the dependence on inorganic pigments. File:Johannes Vermeer - Het melkmeisje - Google Art Project.jpg, ''The Milkmaid'' by
Johannes Vermeer Johannes Vermeer ( , , see below; also known as Jan Vermeer; October 1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period The Baroque (, ; ) is a style of architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin ...
(c. 1658). Vermeer was lavish in his choice of expensive pigments, including
lead-tin-yellow Lead-tin-yellow is a yellow pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dyes are typically soluble, at least at some stage in their use. Generally dyes are often organic compound , C ...
, natural
ultramarine Ultramarine is a deep blue color pigment which was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder. The name comes from the Latin ''ultramarinus'', literally "beyond the sea", because the pigment was imported into Europe from mines in Afghan ...

ultramarine
, and
madder lake Madder Lake are an Australian progressive rock Progressive rock (shortened as prog; also known as classical rock or symphonic rock; sometimes conflated with art rock) is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and U ...
, as shown in the vibrant painting. File:Tizian 041.jpg,
Titian Tiziano Vecelli or Vecellio (; 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian ( ), was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Ital ...
used the historic pigment
Vermilion File:Lacquerware-roundbox-w-children.jpg, A Chinese "cinnabar red" carved lacquer box from the Qing dynasty (1736–1795), National Museum of China, Beijing Vermilion (sometimes spelled vermillion) is both a brilliant red or scarlet (color), sc ...

Vermilion
to create the reds in the oil painting of , completed c. 1518. File:Accademia - Miracle of the Slave by Tintoretto.jpg, ''Miracle of the Slave'' by
Tintoretto Tintoretto ( , , ; born Jacopo Robusti; late September or early October 1518Bernari and de Vecchi 1970, p. 83.31 May 1594) was an Italian painter identified with the Venetian school. His contemporaries both admired and criticized the speed with ...

Tintoretto
(c. 1548). The son of a master
dye A dye is a color Color (American English) or colour (Commonwealth English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property corresponding in humans to the categories called ''blue'', ''green'', ''red'', etc. Colo ...
r, Tintoretto used Carmine Red Lake pigment, derived from the
cochineal The cochineal ( ; ; scientific name: ''Dactylopius coccus'') is a scale insect Scale insects are small insects of the Order (biology), order Hemiptera, suborder Sternorrhyncha. Of dramatically variable appearance and extreme sexual dimorphi ...
insect, to achieve dramatic color effects. File:Paul Cézanne 160.jpg, ''Self Portrait'' by
Paul Cézanne Paul Cézanne ( , , ; ; 19 January 1839 – 22 October 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically di ...

Paul Cézanne
. Working in the late 19th century, Cézanne had a much broader palette of colors than his predecessors.


Manufacturing and industrial standards

Before the development of synthetic pigments, and the refinement of techniques for extracting mineral pigments, batches of color were often inconsistent. With the development of a modern color industry, manufacturers and professionals have cooperated to create international standards for identifying, producing, measuring, and testing colors. First published in 1905, the
Munsell color system In colorimetry, the Munsell color system is a color space A color space is a specific organization of colors. In combination with color profiling supported by various physical devices, it supports reproducible representations of color -- whethe ...
became the foundation for a series of color models, providing objective methods for the measurement of color. The Munsell system describes a color in three dimensions,
hue In color theory, hue is one of the main properties (called color appearance parameters) of a color Color ( American English), or colour ( Commonwealth English), is the characteristic of visual perception described through color ''c ...

hue
,
value Value or values may refer to: * Value (ethics) it may be described as treating actions themselves as abstract objects, putting value to them ** Values (Western philosophy) expands the notion of value beyond that of ethics, but limited to Western s ...

value
(lightness), and chroma (color purity), where chroma is the difference from gray at a given hue and value. By the middle 20th century, standardized methods for pigment chemistry were available, part of an international movement to create such standards in industry. The
International Organization for Standardization The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization develops and publish ...
(ISO) develops technical standards for the manufacture of pigments and dyes. ISO standards define various industrial and chemical properties, and how to test for them. The principal ISO standards that relate to all pigments are as follows: * ISO-787 General methods of test for pigments and extenders. * ISO-8780 Methods of dispersion for assessment of dispersion characteristics. Other ISO standards pertain to particular classes or categories of pigments, based on their chemical composition, such as
ultramarine Ultramarine is a deep blue color pigment which was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder. The name comes from the Latin ''ultramarinus'', literally "beyond the sea", because the pigment was imported into Europe from mines in Afghan ...

ultramarine
pigments,
titanium dioxide Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium(IV) oxide or titania , is the inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical ...
, iron oxide pigments, and so forth. Many manufacturers of paints, inks, textiles, plastics, and colors have voluntarily adopted the
Colour Index International Colour Index International is a reference database jointly maintained by the Society of Dyers and ColouristsThe Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) is an international professional society, with headquarters in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK, s ...
(CII) as a standard for identifying the pigments that they use in manufacturing particular colors. First published in 1925—and now published jointly on the web by the
Society of Dyers and ColouristsThe Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) is an international professional society, with headquarters in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK, specializing in colour in all its manifestations. Founded in 1884, it was granted a Royal Charter of Incorporatio ...
(
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
) and the
American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists AATCC—the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists—is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit professional association that provides test method development, quality control materials, educational development, and networking for textile and app ...
(USA)—this index is recognized internationally as the authoritative reference on colorants. It encompasses more than 27,000 products under more than 13,000 generic color index names. In the CII schema, each pigment has a generic index number that identifies it chemically, regardless of proprietary and historic names. For example,
Phthalocyanine Blue BN Phthalocyanine Blue BN, also called by many names (EINECS 205-685-1), is a bright, crystalline, synthetic blue pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dyes are typically soluble, at ...

Phthalocyanine Blue BN
has been known by a variety of generic and proprietary names since its discovery in the 1930s. In much of Europe, phthalocyanine blue is better known as Helio Blue, or by a proprietary name such as Winsor Blue. An American paint manufacturer, Grumbacher, registered an alternate spelling (Thanos Blue) as a trademark.
Colour Index International Colour Index International is a reference database jointly maintained by the Society of Dyers and ColouristsThe Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) is an international professional society, with headquarters in Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK, s ...
resolves all these conflicting historic, generic, and proprietary names so that manufacturers and consumers can identify the pigment (or dye) used in a particular color product. In the CII, all phthalocyanine blue pigments are designated by a generic color index number as either PB15 or PB16, short for pigment blue 15 and pigment blue 16; these two numbers reflect slight variations in molecular structure, which produce a slightly more greenish or reddish blue.


Figures of merit

The following are some of the attributes of pigments that determine their suitability for particular manufacturing processes and applications: * Lightfastness and sensitivity for damage from ultraviolet light * Heat stability *
Toxicity Toxicity is the degree to which a chemical substance or a particular mixture of substances can damage an organism. Toxicity can refer to the effect on a whole organism, such as an animal, bacteria, bacterium, or plant, as well as the effect on ...

Toxicity
* Tinting strength *
Staining specimen, sandwiched between a glass microscope slide. Staining is a technique used to enhance contrast in samples, generally at the Microscope, microscopic level. Stains and dyes are frequently used in histology (the study of tissue under the ...
*
Dispersion Dispersion may refer to: Economics and finance *Dispersion (finance), a measure for the statistical distribution of portfolio returns *Price dispersion, a variation in prices across sellers of the same item *Wage dispersion, the amount of variation ...
(which can be measured with a Hegman gauge) * Opacity or
transparency Transparency, transparence or transparent most often refer to transparency and translucency, the physical property of allowing the transmission of light through a material. They may also refer to: Literal uses * Transparency (photography), a sti ...
* Resistance to alkalis and acids * Reactions and interactions between pigments


Swatches

Swatches are used to communicate colors accurately. The types of swatches are dictated by the media, i.e., printing, computers, plastics, and textiles. Generally, the medium that offers the broadest gamut of color shades is widely used across diverse media.


Printed swatches

Reference standards are provided by printed swatches of color shades.
PANTONE Pantone LLC is a limited liability company headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey. The company is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a patent, proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, notably graphic design, fashion ...
,
RAL RAL may refer to: * RAL colour standard RAL is a colour matching system used in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any s ...
, Munsell, etc. are widely used standards of color communication across diverse media like printing, plastics, and
textiles A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, o ...

textiles
.


Plastic swatches

Companies manufacturing color masterbatches and pigments for plastics offer plastic swatches in injection molded color chips. These color chips are supplied to the designer or customer to choose and select the color for their specific plastic products. Plastic swatches are available in various special effects like pearl, metallic, fluorescent, sparkle, mosaic etc. However, these effects are difficult to replicate on other media like print and computer display. Plastic swatches have been created by 3D modelling to including various special effects.


Computer swatches

The appearance of pigments in natural light is difficult to replicate on a
computer display A computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial or text form. A monitor usually comprises a electronic visual display, visual display, electronic circuit, some circuitry, a casing, and a power supply. The display dev ...
. Approximations are required. The Munsell Color System provides an objective measure of color in three dimensions: hue, value (or lightness), and chroma. Computer displays in general fail to show the true chroma of many pigments, but the hue and lightness can be reproduced with relative accuracy. However, when the gamma of a computer display deviates from the reference value, the hue is also systematically biased. The following approximations assume a display device at
gamma Gamma (uppercase , lowercase ; ''gámma'') is the third letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 3. In Ancient Greek, the letter gamma represented a voiced velar stop . In Modern Greek, this letter rep ...
2.2, using the
sRGB color space sRGB is a standard RGB color space, RGB (red, green, blue) color space that Hewlett-Packard, HP and Microsoft created cooperatively in 1996 to use on monitors, printers, and the World Wide Web, Web. It was subsequently standardized by the Intern ...
. The further a display device deviates from these standards, the less accurate these swatches will be. Swatches are based on the average measurements of several lots of single-pigment watercolor paints, converted from
Lab color space The CIELAB color space also referred to as ''L*a*b*'' is a color space A color space is a specific organization of colors. In combination with color profiling supported by various physical devices, it supports reproducible representations o ...

Lab color space
to
sRGB color space sRGB is a standard RGB color space, RGB (red, green, blue) color space that Hewlett-Packard, HP and Microsoft created cooperatively in 1996 to use on monitors, printers, and the World Wide Web, Web. It was subsequently standardized by the Intern ...
for viewing on a computer display. The appearance of a pigment may depend on the brand and even the batch. Furthermore, pigments have inherently complex
reflectance The reflectance of the surface of a material is its effectiveness in reflecting radiant energy In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion ...

reflectance
spectra that will render their color appearance greatly different depending on the spectrum of the source illumination, a property called metamerism. Averaged measurements of pigment samples will only yield approximations of their true appearance under a specific source of illumination. Computer display systems use a technique called chromatic adaptation transforms to emulate the
correlated color temperature The color temperature of a light source is the temperature of an ideal black-body radiation, black-body radiator that radiates light of a color comparable to that of the light source. Color temperature is a characteristic of visible light that ...
of illumination sources, and cannot perfectly reproduce the intricate spectral combinations originally seen. In many cases, the perceived color of a pigment falls outside of the
gamut In color reproduction, including computer graphics and photography, the gamut, or color gamut , is a certain ''complete subset'' of colors. The most common usage refers to the subset of colors which can be accurately represented in a given circu ...
of computer displays and a method called
gamut mapping In digital imaging systems, color management (or colour management) is the controlled Data conversion, conversion between the color representations of various devices, such as image scanners, digital cameras, monitors, TV screens, film printers, ...
is used to approximate the true appearance. Gamut mapping trades off any one of
lightness Lightness is a visual perception of the luminance (L) of an object. It is often judged relative to a similarly lit object. In colorimetry and color appearance models, lightness is a prediction of how an illuminated color will appear to a stand ...

lightness
,
hue In color theory, hue is one of the main properties (called color appearance parameters) of a color Color ( American English), or colour ( Commonwealth English), is the characteristic of visual perception described through color ''c ...

hue
, or saturation accuracy to render the color on screen, depending on the priority chosen in the conversion's
ICC ICC may refer to: Buildings * International Commerce Centre, a skyscraper in Hong Kong * International Commercial Center, a skyscraper in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia * International Convention Centre (disambiguation), any of several convention centers * ...
rendering intent In digital imaging systems, color management (or colour management) is the controlled conversion Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Conversion (Doctor Who audio), "Conversion" (''Doctor Who'' audio), an episod ...
.


Biological pigments

In biology, a pigment is any
color Color (American English) or colour (Commonwealth English) is the visual perception, visual perceptual Physical property, property corresponding in humans to the categories called ''blue'', ''green'', ''red'', etc. Color derives from the sp ...

color
ed material of plant or animal cells. Many biological structures, such as skin, eyes, fur, and hair contain pigments (such as melanin). Animal colouration, Animal skin coloration often comes about through specialized cells called chromatophores, which animals such as the octopus and chameleon can control to vary the animal's color. Many conditions affect the levels or nature of pigments in plant, animal, some protista, or fungus cells. For instance, the disorder called albinism affects the level of melanin production in animals. Pigmentation in organisms serves many biological purposes, including camouflage, mimicry, aposematism (warning), sexual selection and other forms of Signalling theory, signalling, photosynthesis (in plants), as well as basic physical purposes such as protection from sunburn. Pigment color differs from Color#Structural color, structural color in that pigment color is the same for all viewing angles, whereas structural color is the result of selective reflection or iridescence, usually because of multilayer structures. For example, butterfly wings typically contain structural color, although many butterflies have cells that contain pigment as well.


Pigments by elemental composition

* Cadmium pigments: cadmium sulfide, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, cadmium pigments, cadmium green, cadmium orange, cadmium pigments, cadmium sulfoselenide * Chromium pigments: chrome yellow and chrome green (viridian) * Cobalt pigments: cobalt violet, cobalt blue, cerulean blue, aureolin (cobalt yellow) * Copper pigments: Azurite, Han purple, Han blue,
Egyptian blue Egyptian blue, also known as calcium copper silicate (CaCuSi4O10 or CaOCuO(SiO2)4 (calcium copper tetrasilicate)) or cuprorivaite, is a pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dy ...

Egyptian blue
, Malachite, Paris green,
Phthalocyanine Blue BN Phthalocyanine Blue BN, also called by many names (EINECS 205-685-1), is a bright, crystalline, synthetic blue pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dyes are typically soluble, at ...

Phthalocyanine Blue BN
, Phthalocyanine Green G,
verdigris Verdigris is the common name for a green Green is the between and on the . It is evoked by light which has a of roughly 495570 . In systems, used in painting and color printing, it is created by a combination of yellow and ; in th ...
* Iron oxide pigments: sanguine, caput mortuum (pigment), caput mortuum, Iron oxide red, oxide red, red ochre, yellow ochre, Venetian red,
Prussian blue Prussian blue (also known as Berlin blue or, in painting Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a substrate in a thin layer, ...

Prussian blue
, Sienna, raw sienna, burnt sienna, raw umber, burnt umber * Lead pigments: lead white, cremnitz white, Naples yellow, red lead,
lead-tin-yellow Lead-tin-yellow is a yellow pigment A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water. In contrast, dyes are typically soluble, at least at some stage in their use. Generally dyes are often organic compound , C ...
* Manganese pigments: manganese violet, YInMn Blue, YInMn blue * Mercury (element), Mercury pigments:
vermilion File:Lacquerware-roundbox-w-children.jpg, A Chinese "cinnabar red" carved lacquer box from the Qing dynasty (1736–1795), National Museum of China, Beijing Vermilion (sometimes spelled vermillion) is both a brilliant red or scarlet (color), sc ...

vermilion
* Titanium pigments: titanium yellow, titanium beige, titanium white, titanium black * Zinc pigments: zinc white, zinc ferrite, zinc yellow * Aluminum pigment: Aluminum powder * Carbon pigments: carbon black (including vine black, lamp black), ivory black (bone charcoal) * Ultramarine pigments (based on sulfur):
ultramarine Ultramarine is a deep blue color pigment which was originally made by grinding lapis lazuli into a powder. The name comes from the Latin ''ultramarinus'', literally "beyond the sea", because the pigment was imported into Europe from mines in Afghan ...

ultramarine
, ultramarine green shade


Biological and organic

* Biological origins: alizarin, gamboge, Carmine, cochineal red, rose madder, Indigo dye, indigo,
Indian yellow Indian yellow is a complex pigment consisting primarily of euxanthic acid Salt (chemistry), salts (magnesium euxanthate and calcium euxanthate), euxanthone and sulphonated euxanthone. It was also known as purree, snowshoe yellow, gaugoli, gogili ...
, Tyrian purple * Non biological Organic compound, organic: quinacridone, magenta, phthalo green, phthalo blue, pigment red 170, diarylide yellow


See also

* List of Stone Age art * Rock art * Subtractive color


Notes


References

* * * * * * * * *


External links


Pigments through the ages

ColourLex Pigment Lexicon

Earliest evidence of art found
* Sarah Lowengar
The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-century Europe
Columbia University Press, 2006 * , Chemical Heritage Foundation * , Chemical Heritage Foundation
The Quest for the Next Billion-Dollar Color
{{Authority control Pigments, Painting materials