Newcastle Station Clock

Newcastle Station Clock

Friday, 18 March 2011

The Kofi Shift Notes: Which Primary Colour?

One of the first things we learn in art whilst in Nursery or in Primary school is that the three primary colours are:

Red, Yellow and Blue

and from these we can mix our poster paints to create any colour we want, mixing them all gives us brown and the limit of colour is the amount of paint in our bottle. Black and white are only achievable from using black and white paint.

Then, when we move on in our education and start ICT we learn the primary colours are in fact:
Red, Green and Blue

mixing them together creates white and not using any creates black. The most we can use of any one colour is 255, 255 of what is unknown.

Once we get to architecture school we then learn on our first colour plot, that the three primary colours are actually:
Cyan, Magenta and Yellow

Mixing them all together would create black, but to create black we would in fact have to use Key, a black which is so special it's no longer called black. White is made from nothing. Of any of these colours we can use up to 100%.

Should any of us ever create a website for the practice we then encounter the Hex system, colours for the web. For these the primary colours are anything from:
0-1 as long as there's only 6 of them and they follow a #
This is very confusing and I shall mention on them nothing more.

Then when we specify the colour the walls of our designs need painting in we will probably use the Dulux colour system. Again the primary colours are not colours but instead colour groups:
Neutrals, Creams, Yellows, Oranges, Pinks, Blues, Greens and Natural Hints.
All rather vague in reality but at least it makes some sense. Mixing them is probably a bad idea as you will get an uneven colour across your wall and quantity is defined by the size of your tin.

Now as everyone seems to be coming up with their own primary colours, I think its time I had my own, they will be:
Toast (the smell of), Gamma radiation and Speed.

Your screen may not be TGS compatible as they are relatively modern colours, in which case they will appear blank. For health reasons don't look at Gamma too long as it may result in radiation burns.

Now I know they are all things that can not be observed visually, but that doesn't seem to matter. Mixing them all together will cause a black hole, mixing just Toast and Gamma will create a #DIV/0! error and some kittens may just die. Measurement of each colour will use octaves.
In my opinion, an all round better system.

The Kofi Shift Notes are written during a Kofi Bar shift in the space of an hour and under the heavy influence of caffeine, whilst it starts with what may be a sound fact, the resulting rambles are probably best ignored for any real truth.


  1. I have to agree with the TGS system, it tends to give much more reliable results in my experience of printing and publishing. The biggest difficulty is quantifying just the right amount smell of toast but I'm sure as it becomes more popular this will get a lot easier.

    P.S. A quick note about your signature; it should be 'an' hour. :-)

  2. a valid comment my friend, however when I was printing the other night, the speed cartridge ran out of ink. This resulted in my CAD plan printing out an edible version of a japanese power plant. very curious indeed