ColorSpace (Model)

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A color space (or model) is a coordinate space where

  • a set of coordinate define a color.
  • you can define and compare them

A color picker permits to discover visually a colorspace


A color space determines how coordinates (a tuple of data values) maps to a well-defined color (and vice-versa).

Many color spaces can be represented as three-dimensional values (three parameters) but some have more, or fewer dimensions, and some, such as Pantone, cannot be represented in this way at all.

Colors are generally represented as tuples of numbers. e.g.:

More … see: Color - (Parameters|Properties) Color Description


There is two kind of colorspaces:


The physical focused colorspaces:

  • target Machine
  • are Non-linear (Non-uniform)

They uses the physical property of the pigment or light such as additivity and substractivity and is based on primary colors that are added/or substracted to create other colors.


  • RGB - red green blue - the colors of the pixel used in monitor
  • RYB - red yellow blue - the colors used in a projector
  • CMYK - Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and black - the colors of the inks used in printing

This colorspace are non-linear, meaning that:

  • an increase in one coordinate can lead to a really different color
  • therefore the diff based on the coordinates has no real meaning.


The human focused colorspaces:

  • target Human perception
  • are linear (Uniform)

They uses the human perception property of the color such as:

The most known is:

  • CIELAB (a.k.a. Lab) - still color based but human colors.
  • CIELChab (a.k.a. “LCh” or “HCL”)
  • Dave Green’s Cubehelix

This colorspace are linear, meaning that the diff based on the coordinates has a meaning.



Name Usage Type Coordinates
(aka HLS, HSV)
User Linear Hue (color wheel), Saturation and Lightness
RGB Display Non-linear Red, green, and blue (the color of the pixel added together to make another color)
RYB Display Non-linear Red, yellow, and blue (subtractive - projector)
CYMK Printing Non-linear Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and black (the colors of the inks)
Greyscale User Linear only one brightness (going from black to white)
wiki/YIQ Bootstrap
CIEXYZ designed to encompass all colors the average human can see
CIELAB (aka lab) Designed to encompass all colors the average human can see
(a.k.a. LCh or HCL)
based on CIELAB


See Numerisation to Printing process (Color Space Transformation)

from rgb to hsl calculation

const color1 = d3.hsl("#075ebb") // hexadecimal RGB
console.log(`hue: ${color1.h} degree`);
console.log(`saturation: ${color1.s} `);
console.log(`lightness: ${color1.l} `);
  • Qix (Node module)
var color = Color('#7743CE').alpha(0.5).lighten(0.5);
console.log(color.hsl().string());  // 'hsla(262, 59%, 81%, 0.5)'
console.log(color.cmyk().round().array());  // [ 16, 25, 0, 8, 0.5 ]
console.log(color.ansi256().object());  // { ansi256: 183, alpha: 0.5 }

Documentation / Reference

Discover More
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CIELChab (a.k.a. LCh or HCL ) ColorSpace

CIELChab is a colorspace based on the following coordinates: L: lightness: in the range [0, 100] C is the Polar_coordinate_systempolar coordinates of chroma, relative saturation in [0, 230] H is...
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A css function is a function that can be used in a CSS property value to calculate complex styling requirement. Css function are mostly used with CSS Variable. Below we define the space unit variable...
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A color is: a light wave in a range called the visual spectrum (that our eye see) the absence of light or mixed (achromatic colors (white, black, gray) in computer a data type that denotes a color....
Color - (Lightness|Value|Tone) (White, Gray, Black scale)

Lightness, also known as value or tone, is a property (coordinate) placed on a linear scale where: White is the highest possible value (the lightest) Black is the lowest value (the darkest) Gray...
Color - Additive (Combination|Method)

An additive colorspace works by combination of colors, as in : overlapping projected lights. or in electronic visual displays. subtractive model Additive primaries color are also known as Plus color...
Color Blue
Color - Blue

blue is: a hue color (chromatic) a pure color (without additive) one of the percepted human colors. is used as primary color: coordinate in a colorspace (for instance the rgb colorspace) in...
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Color - CIELAB

CIELAB is a human color spaces reference standard that was specifically designed to encompass all colors the average human can see. (As CIEXYZ) CIELAB is also known as Lab where: L stands for perceptual...
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Color - CMYK (Cyan Magenta Yellow Black Color Model)

Colors can be created in printing with color spaces based on the CMYK color model, using the subtractive primary colors of pigment: cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y), and black (K). To...
Hsv Plotly
Color - (Parameters|Properties) Color Description

Colors are represented in a coordinate cartésien model known as a colorspace. Each colorspace has between 3 and 4 coordinates that are known as color channel (ie color property) A human colorspace...
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Color - Display (Monitor)

This page is display (monitor, screen) in the context of color. The RGB is the colour model for display of images in electronic systems, such as televisions and computers. Colors generated on given...

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