Hues, Tints and Tones

To understand colour, you need to understand what the different terms that are applied mean.

Hue - a hue is the pure colour. This applies to all the primary, secondary and tertiary colours that have no black or white added to them. It is often used as another name for colour.

Tint - a tint is the colour or hue with white added to it. This makes the final colour lighter, and increases the light reflective value (LRV).

Tone - a tone is the colour with grey added. This produces a different colour that is still within the colour family.

Shade - a shade is the clour with black added. This makes the final colour darker, and decreases the LRV.

Intensity - this describes the brightness or dullness of the colour. Less intense colours such as blues and greens are duller, and more intense colours such as reds, yellows and oranges are brighter. Intense colours are more stimulating, whereas more dull colours are generally more relaxing and calming.

Light reflectance value (LRV) - this refers to the lightness or darkness of a colour. Pure white has the highest LRV, and black the lowest.

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