Colour Theory and Seasonal Colour Analysis

Seasonal colour systems objectively define and classify colours into different seasonal palettes according to

their Undertone, Chroma, and Value. 


The Undertone of a colour refers to the degree to which it is either cool, neutral, or warm. Cool-toned colours are blue-based, and are characterized by the absence of warm pigments such as yellow. In contrast, warm colours are yellow-based, and are defined by the absence of cool-toned pigments such as blue. Neutral colours are balanced in the amount of cool and warm underlying pigments that they contain.  A colour analysis determines the degree to which someone's skin has either a cool, warm, or neutral undertone. Individuals with a cool or cool-neutral undertone are classified into seasonal categories known as "Winter" or "Summer", while individuals with warm, or warm-neutral undertones,  are classified into seasonal categories known as "Autumn" and "Spring".


The chroma of a colour refers to it's clarity, brightness, or saturation.  Colours with a high percentage of grey are considered "low-chroma" or soft, while colours that contain very low amounts, or no grey, are considered "high chroma", or bright.  A colour that is considered medium chroma is one that is neither very soft or very bright.  A color analysis will determine whether a person is best suited to low-chroma, medium chroma, or high chroma colors. High chroma shades are most often found in the Spring and Winter seasonal palettes, while low-chroma, or more muted colors, are most often found in the Summer and Autumn seasonal palettes. Individuals who are particularly flattered by bright colors are usually Springs or Winters, while those who do better in softer colors are most often Summers or Autumns.


The value of a colour refers to it's level of darkness or lightness. Higher value colors are lighter, while lower value colours are deeper. A colour analysis identifies the range of colour values that an individual is most flattered by. Although there is a wide range of values in all of the seasonal palettes, high value, or light, colors are most often found in the Spring and Summer palettes, while low value (or dark) colours are most frequently found in the Winter and Autumn color seasons. Individuals who are particularly flattered by light colours are most often Summers or Springs, while those who are suited to deeper tones are most commonly Winters or Autumns.

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