In making our color wheel we found ourselves faced with the same question entertained by artists, scientists, professors and colorists for the last two and a half centuries, “Which color wheel?”
Explanations for color have been put forth in the form of triangles, charts, spheres, circles, wheels and graphs. Sir Isaac Newton, in the early 1700s, demonstrated that white light is made up of all the spectral colors and created a color wheel that placed the pure hue of the spectrum on the outside and shaded them to gray at the center. The Three Component Theory, first advanced by physicist Thomas Young, and then later expanded upon by J.C. Maxwell and H. von Helmholtz, suggests that nature had three basic sensations which respond to red, green and violet light.
The color printer Jakob LeBlon found he could represent ll visible objects with three colors -yellow, red (crimson) and blue. Albert Munsell, an American painter, arranged his color wheel by hue, chroma and value, while Ostwald’s system defined pure hue and classified colors according to the amount of white and black they contained. Ewald Hering published his theory which suggested that three pairs of opposing sensations produce all colors -blue and yellow, red and green and black and white.
We finally decided, after considerable research, to base the DANIEL SMITH color wheel on color vision, the measured evaluation of what we see, “colorimetry”.