Is black a real color

Primary colors

The primary colors (cyan, magenta, yellow) occupy a special position among the body colors. There are two features that differ from all other light colors:

  • Primary colors cannot be mixed from other body colors

  • All other body colors can be mixed from the 3 primary colors

This system can be found in the literature and in the color settings of computer programs as a CMY system or CMY model.

The CMY system - the three primary colors and their overlays

Interactive display of subtractive color mixing

cyan + yellow = green   
cyan + magenta = blue-violet   
yellow + magenta = red   
cyan + magenta + yellow = black

Color mixing in body colors is the material mixture of color substances (pigments). The information given here on the laws of mixing is based on colors of optimal purity and luminosity. The practical understanding of this system is difficult, since the colors required for mixing (opaque, tempra colors, etc.) are difficult to get in the required purity and therefore clear, pure shades can be mixed with very few colors. For this reason, other colors are used in practice (see opaque color box). Using the inkjet printer, the subtractive color mixing is easy to understand; here, cyan, magenta and yellow are used to map the printing inks. In order to increase the contrast, even with the printing inks, there is no pure, deep black, the black is added here as a fourth printing color (CMYK system). The principle of color mixing from the primary colors, subtractive color mixing, e.g. in color printing, color photography, color mixing with pigments, etc. is used in practice.

See also:

Secondary colors

Tertiary colors