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Color for Designers: Ninety-five things you need to know when choosing and using colors for layouts and illustrations by Jim Krause

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Chapter 1. Color 101+

1 Light

All color comes from light. Scientifically speaking, colors visible to the human eye are oscillations of electromagnetic energy with wavelengths measuring from about 400 to 700 nanometers. White light is a mixture of all colors. Black is the absence of light.*

Every color we see is the result of certain wavelengths of light being either absorbed or reflected off things like plants, animals, cars, paisley ties, and plaid skirts.

When white light bounces off the surface of a stop sign, for example, every wavelength of the visible spectrum—except for those of about 650 nanometers (otherwise known as red)—are absorbed by molecules of the sign’s paint: The wavelengths of red light bounce off the sign’s painted surface, ...

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