Illusive Colour: Colour Print beyond CMYK


Colour is created in our heads and can be generated in many different ways, for example light emission from a display, reflection, refraction and dispersion in water droplets forming a rainbow, absorbing colours in a print or a blow to the head.

A well-established method for colour reproduction in commercial print is either spot colour, such as in packaging or wallpaper production, or CMYK print, for magazines or advertising. In this project we explore alternative methods of colour recording and reproduction, testing how memory influences our colour perception and how the brain uses stored information to reconstruct colour.

Our research tools span from Maxwell’s old method of recording colour on black and white film, to the latest structural colour pigments made by Merck.

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