Origin of the Color Wheel

If you love Pantone books as much as I do then you will love reading about the history of color and seeing all the many ways art historians and theorists broke down the shades, hues, and complements.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Theory of Colours designed in 1810 rebutted Newton’s color-spectrum theory by imagining darkness not just as absence of light but as its own active force. As light struck dark, in Goethe’s view, their battle threw off observable sparks of color. (by Jude Stewart / Print Imprint Blog) Goethe searched widely for colors. He breathed on glass panes and flapped his arms to see how colors changed with each movement. It makes sense how so many colors are logged in our Pantone books, web palettes, and paint sections of the hardware store. It is like blowing bubbles and noting all the different colors you see when the light and shadow hits each glassy sphere.

[from Sarah Lowengard’s project The Creation of Color in Eighteenth Century Europe and COLOURLovers’ concise summary of the project]