SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1972

Color and Light


Man's ability to discriminate colors increases both his enjoyment and appreciation of the world around him. Because color is such a significant factor in the appearance of an object, it is an important characteristic of any paint. Appearance is one quality of a product that every customer can judge for himself. No matter how good the physical properties of a paint, if the color does not meet the expectation of the customer, he will think the finished product unsatisfactory. Color is often thought to be a property of the paint itself, and, to a degree, it is. Actually it is more complex than that for color of a paint depends on three things: (1) the spectral reflectance of the paint, (2) the spectral composition of the light in which the paint is viewed, and (3) the spectral sensitivity of the eye of the observer. For these reasons matching the color of a paint or other material requires considering all three and not merely the spectral characteristic of the material.

Author Information

Hammond, HK
Keane, TJ
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Developed by Committee: D01
Pages: 1–14
DOI: 10.1520/STP37140S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4607-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0099-2