Indigo

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This article is about the color. For the Indian airline, see IndiGo. For other uses, see Indigo (disambiguation).
IndigoHow to read this color infobox
Indian indigo dye lump.jpg
A piece of indigo plant dye from India,
about 2.5 inches (6 cm) square
Wavelength 450–420[1](disputed) nm
Common connotations
loyalty, religion, spirituality, intuition, sorcery
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #6F00FF
sRGBB  (rgb) (75, 0, 130)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (42, 100, 0, 49)
HSV       (h, s, v) (275°, 100%, 51%)
Source HTML/CSS[2]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Indigo is a color that is traditionally regarded as a color on the visible spectrum, as well as one of the seven colors of the rainbow: the color between blue and violet. Although traditionally considered one of seven major spectral colors, its actual position in the electromagnetic spectrum is controversial. Indigo is a deep and bright color close to the color wheel blue (a primary color in the RGB color space), as well as to some variants of ultramarine.

The color indigo was named after the indigo dye derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria and related species.

The first known recorded use of indigo as a color name in English was in 1289.[3]

History[edit]

Extract of natural indigo applied to paper

India is believed to be the oldest center of indigo dyeing in the Old World. It was a primary supplier of indigo dye, derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria, to Europe as early as the Greco-Roman era. The association of India with indigo is reflected in the Greek word for the 'dye', which was indikon (ινδικόν). The Romans used the term indicum, which passed into Italian dialect and eventually into English as the word indigo. El Salvador has lately been the biggest producer of indigo.[citation needed]

The same indigo dye is contained in the woad plant, Isatis tinctoria, for a long time the main source of blue dye in Europe. Woad was replaced by true indigo as trade routes opened up, and both are now largely replaced by synthetic dyes.

Though the word indigo has existed in English since the 13th century, it may never have been a common part of the basic color-naming system.[4]

Classification as a spectral color[edit]

Indigo is one of the colors on Newton's color wheel

Many modern books place indigo on the spectrum between 450 and 420 nanometers,[1][5][6] which lies on the short-wave side of color wheel (RGB) blue, towards (spectral) violet. However, the correspondence of this definition with colors of actual indigo dyes is disputed. Optical scientists Hardy and Perrin list indigo as between 446 and 464 nm wavelength,[7] which occupies a spectrum segment from roughly the color wheel (RGB) blue extending to the long-wave side, towards azure.

Isaac Newton introduced indigo as one of the seven colors in his spectrum. In the mid-1660s, when Newton bought a pair of prisms at a fair near Cambridge, the East India Company had begun importing indigo dye into England,[8] supplanting the homegrown woad as the source of blue dye. In a pivotal experiment in the history of optics, the young Newton shone a narrow beam of sunlight through a prism to produce a rainbow-like band of colors on the wall. In describing this optical spectrum, Newton acknowledged that the spectrum had a continuum of colors, but named seven colors: "The originall or primary colours are Red, yellow, Green, Blue, & a violet purple; together with Orange, Indico, & an indefinite varietie of intemediate gradations."[9] He linked the seven prismatic colors to the seven notes of a western major scale,[10] as shown in his color wheel, with orange and indigo as the semitones. Having decided upon seven colors, he asked a friend to repeatedly divide up the spectrum that was projected from the prism onto the wall:

Newton's observation of prismatic colors. Comparing this to a color image of the visible light spectrum will show that "Indigo" corresponds to blue, while "Blue" corresponds to cyan.

"I desired a friend to draw with a pencil lines cross the image, or pillar of colours, where every one of the seven aforenamed colours was most full and brisk, and also where he judged the truest confines of them to be, whilst I held the paper so, that the said image might fall within a certain compass marked on it. And this I did, partly because my own eyes are not very critical in distinguishing colours, partly because another, to whom I had not communicated my thoughts about this matter, could have nothing but his eyes to determine his fancy in making those marks."[11]

Traditional 7 colors of the rainbow

Indigo is therefore counted as one of the traditional colors of the rainbow, the order of which is given by the mnemonic Roy G. Biv. James Clerk Maxwell and Hermann von Helmholtz accepted indigo as an appropriate name for the color flanking violet in the spectrum.[12]

Later scientists conclude that Newton named the colors differently from current usage.[13][14] According to Gary Waldman, "A careful reading of Newton's work indicates that the color he called indigo, we would normally call blue; his blue is then what we would name blue-green or cyan."[15] If this is true, Newton's seven spectral colors would have been:

Red:    Orange:    Yellow:    Green:    Blue:     Indigo:    Violet:    

The human eye does not readily differentiate hues in the wavelengths between blue and violet. If this is where Newton meant indigo to lie, most individuals would have difficulty distinguishing indigo from its neighbors. According to Isaac Asimov, "It is customary to list indigo as a color lying between blue and violet, but it has never seemed to me that indigo is worth the dignity of being considered a separate color. To my eyes it seems merely deep blue."[16]

Modern color scientists typically divide the spectrum between violet and blue at about 450 nm, with no indigo.[17][18]

Distinction between the four major tones of indigo[edit]

Like many other colors (orange, rose, and violet are the best-known), indigo gets its name from an object in the natural world—the plant named indigo once used for dyeing cloth (see also Indigo dye).

The color 'electric indigo' is a bright and saturated color between the traditional indigo and violet. This is the brightest color indigo that can be approximated on a computer screen—it is a color located between the (primary) blue and the color violet on the RGB color wheel.

The web color 'blue violet' or 'deep indigo' is a tone of indigo brighter than pigment indigo, but not as bright as electric indigo.

The color 'pigment indigo' is equivalent to the web color indigo and approximates the color indigo that is usually reproduced in pigments and colored pencils.

The color of indigo dye is a different color from either spectrum indigo or pigment indigo. This is the actual color of the dye. A vat full of this dye is a darker color, approximating the web color midnight blue.

Below are displayed these four major tones of indigo. When specifying the color indigo, it is important to indicate which of these four major tones is desired.

Electric indigo[edit]

Electric IndigoHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #6F00FF
sRGBB  (rgb) (111, 0, 255)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (57, 100, 0, 0)
HSV       (h, s, v) (266°, 100%, 100[19]%)
Source [1]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

The color 'electric indigo' is much brighter than the pigment indigo reproduced below. When plotted on the CIE chromaticity diagram, this color is at 435 nanometers, in the middle of the portion of the spectrum traditionally considered indigo, i.e., between 450 and 420 nanometers. This color is only an approximation of spectral indigo, since actual spectral colors are outside the gamut of the sRGB color system.

Deep indigo (web color blue-violet)[edit]

Blue-VioletHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #8A2BE2
sRGBB  (rgb) (138, 43, 226)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (63, 81, 0, 0)
HSV       (h, s, v) (271°, 81%, 89%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

At right is displayed the web color 'blue-violet', a color intermediate in brightness between electric indigo and pigment indigo. This color is also called 'deep indigo'.

Light indigo (web color indigo)[edit]

IndigoHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #4B0082
sRGBB  (rgb) (75, 0, 130)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (42, 100, 0, 49)
HSV       (h, s, v) (275°, 100%, 50%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

The color box at right displays the web color indigo which is equivalent to 'light indigo', the color indigo as it would be reproduced by artists' paints as opposed to the brighter indigo above (electric indigo) that is possible to reproduce on a computer screen. Its hue is closer to violet than to indigo dye for which the color is named. Pigment indigo can be obtained by mixing 55% pigment cyan with about 45% pigment magenta.

Compare the subtractive colors to the additive colors in the two primary color charts in the article on primary colors to see the distinction between electric colors as reproducible from light on a computer screen (additive colors) and the pigment colors reproducible with pigments (subtractive colors); the additive colors are significantly brighter because they are produced from light instead of pigment.

Light indigo (web color indigo) represents the way the color indigo was always reproduced in pigments, paints, or colored pencils in the 1950s. By the 1970s, because of the advent of psychedelic art, artists became used to brighter pigments, and pigments called "bright indigo" or "bright blue-violet" that are the pigment equivalent of the electric indigo reproduced in the section above became available in artists' pigments and colored pencils.

Tropical indigo[edit]

Tropical IndigoHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #9683EC
sRGBB  (rgb) (150, 131, 236)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (48, 51, 0, 0)
HSV       (h, s, v) (251°, 44%, 93%)
Source Gallego and Sanz[20]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

'Tropical Indigo' is the color that is called añil (the Spanish word for "tropical indigo") in the Guía de coloraciones (Guide to colorations) by Rosa Gallego and Juan Carlos Sanz, a color dictionary published in 2005 that is widely popular in the Hispanophone realm.

Additional variations of indigo[edit]

Bright indigo[edit]

Indigo (Crayola)How to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #5D76CB
sRGBB  (rgb) (93, 96, 189)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (54, 42, 0, 20)
HSV       (h, s, v) (226°, 54%, 80[21]%)
Source Crayola
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

At right is displayed the 'bright indigo' color called 'indigo' in Crayola crayons. This color was added by Crayola in 2000.

Denim[edit]

DenimHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #1560BD
sRGBB  (rgb) (21, 96, 189)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (89, 49, 0, 26)
HSV       (h, s, v) (213°, 89%, 74%)
Source Crayola
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

'Denim' is a tone of indigo Crayola which resembles the shade of indigo used in denim. Crayola created this color in 1993 as one of the new 16 colors. Denim is the color of denim cloth, which after being dyed with indigo dye, is used to make jeans.

The Denim Revolution is a term used by the radical opposition in Belarus and their supporters in the West, who support a color revolution to implement the reintroduction of democracy, to describe their effort and aspirations.

In the 1960s, denim symbolized youth culture because so many young baby boomers wore denim jeans.

Violet-blue[edit]

Violet-BlueHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #324AB2
sRGBB  (rgb) (50, 74, 178)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (71, 58, 0, 30)
HSV       (h, s, v) (229°, 72%, 70[22]%)
Source Crayola
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

The color 'violet-blue' is a bluish tone of blue-violet. The Crayola color called 'violet-blue' is displayed at right. The Crayola crayon color called "violet-blue" was formulated in 1949 and continued as a Crayola color until 1990.


Imperial blue[edit]

Imperial Standard of Napoleon I

See also Imperial red

Imperial BlueHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #002395
sRGBB  (rgb) (0, 35, 149)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (100, 77, 0, 42)
HSV       (h, s, v) (226°, 100%, 58[23]%)
Source Vexillological[24]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

At right is displayed the color 'imperial blue'. Imperial blue is a representation of the blue color of the Imperial Standard of Napoleon I.

The first recorded use of 'imperial blue' as a color name in English was in the 1820s (exact year uncertain).[25]

Persian indigo[edit]

Persian IndigoHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #32127A
sRGBB  (rgb) (50, 18, 122)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (96, 100, 16, 11)
HSV       (h, s, v) (258°, 85%, 48%)
Source [2]/Maerz and Paul[26]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

The color 'Persian indigo' is displayed at right. Another name for this color (seldom used nowadays) is 'regimental'. The color was called regimental because in the 19th century it was commonly used by many nations for navy uniforms. 'Persian indigo' is named for an association with a product from Persia: Persian cloth dyed with indigo dye.

The first recorded use of 'regimental' (the original name for the color now called Persian indigo) as a color name in English was in 1912.[27]

Midnight blue[edit]

Main article: Midnight blue
Midnight BlueHow to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #191970
sRGBB  (rgb) (25, 25, 112)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (97, 78, 39, 29)
HSV       (h, s, v) (240°, 78%, 44%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

At right is displayed the web color 'midnight blue'.


Dark imperial blue[edit]

Imperial Blue (ISCC-NBS)How to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #00416A
sRGBB  (rgb) (0, 65, 106)
HSV       (h, s, v) (203°, 100%, 42%)
Source ISCC-NBS
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

The color 'dark imperial blue' is called 'imperial blue' on the ISCC-NBS color list.

Japanese indigo[edit]

Indigo (JTC)How to read this color infobox
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #264348
sRGBB  (rgb) (38, 67, 72)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (47, 7, 0, 72)
HSV       (h, s, v) (189°, 47%, 28[28]%)
Source JTC
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

The color 'Japanese indigo' is shown at right. This is the color that is called 'indigo' in the Japanese traditional colors, a group of colors in use beginning in 660 CE in the form of various dyes used in designing kimonos.[29][30]

The name of this color in Japanese is ai-iro, which means indigo color.

In nature[edit]

Fungi

Birds

In culture[edit]

Business[edit]

Computer graphics[edit]

  • Electric indigo is sometimes used as a glow color for computer graphics lighting, possibly because it seems to change color from indigo to lavender when blended with white.

Food[edit]

  • Scientists discovered in 2008 that when a banana becomes ripe and ready to eat, it glows bright indigo under a black light. Some insects, as well as birds and bats, may see into the ultraviolet because they are tetrachromats, and can use this information to tell when a banana is ripe and ready to eat. The glow is the result of a chemical created as the green chlorophyll in the peel breaks down.[33]

Dyes[edit]

  • In Mexico, indigo is known as 'añil'.[34] After silver and cochineal to produce red, añil was the most important product to be exported by historical Mexico.[35]
  • Guatemala, as of 1778, was considered one of the world's foremost provider of indigo.[36]

Music[edit]

Spiritualism[edit]

The tone of indigo used in the spiritualist applications is electric indigo because the color is represented as being the color of the spectrum between blue and violet.[38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Physics—Google Book Result:
  2. ^ W3C TR CSS3 Color Module, SVG color keywords. W3C. (May 2003). Retrieved on 14 December 2007.
  3. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 197; Color Sample of Indigo: Page 117 Plate 47 Color Sample E10
  4. ^ Ottenheimer, Harriet Joseph (2009). The anthropology of language: an introduction to linguistic anthropology (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-495-50884-7. 
  5. ^ Huris Group—Spectrum of Electromagnetic Radiation:
  6. ^ MathWorks—VIBGYOR segmentation:
  7. ^ Arthur C. Hardy and Fred H. Perrin. The Principles of Optics. McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., New York. 1932.
  8. ^ Allen, O.N. Allen & Ethel K. (1981). The Leguminosae: a source book of characteristics, uses, and nodulation (null ed.). Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 343. ISBN 978-0-299-08400-4. 
  9. ^ Newton's draft of A Theory Concerning Light and Colors on newtonproject.sussex.ac.uk
  10. ^ http://www1.umn.edu/ships/updates/newton1.htm
  11. ^ Brewster, David (1855). Memoirs of the life, writings and discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, Volume 1. p. 408. 
  12. ^ Ronchi, Lucia R.; Jodi Sandford (2009). The Excentric Blue. An Abridged Historical Review.. Fondazione Giorgio Ronchi. ISBN 978-88-88649-19-1. 
  13. ^ Evans, Ralph M. (1974). The perception of color. (null ed.). New York: Wiley-Interscience. ISBN 978-0-471-24785-2. 
  14. ^ McLaren, K. (March 2007). "Newton's indigo". Color Research & Application 10 (4): 225–229. doi:10.1002/col.5080100411. 
  15. ^ Waldman, Gary (2002). Introduction to light : the physics of light, vision, and color (Dover ed.). Mineola: Dover Publications. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-486-42118-6. 
  16. ^ Asimov, Isaac (1975). Eyes on the universe : a history of the telescope. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-395-20716-1. 
  17. ^ J. W. G. Hunt (1980). Measuring Color. Ellis Horwood Ltd. ISBN 0-7458-0125-0. 
  18. ^ Craig F. Bohren and Eugene E. Clothiaux (2006). Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation. Wiley-VCH. ISBN 3-527-40503-8. 
  19. ^ web.Forrett.com Color Conversion Tool set to color #6F00FF (Electric Indigo):
  20. ^ Gallego, Rosa; Sanz, Juan Carlos (2005). Guía de coloraciones (Gallego, Rosa; Sanz, Juan Carlos (2005). Guide to Colorations) Madrid: H. Blume. ISBN 84-89840-31-8
  21. ^ web.forret.com Color Conversion Tool set to hex code of color #5D76DB (Bright Indigo):
  22. ^ web.forret.com Color Conversion Tool set to hex code of color #324AB2 (Violet-Blue):
  23. ^ web.forret.com Color Conversion Tool set to hex code of color #002395 (Imperial Blue):
  24. ^ The color displayed in the color box above matches the color called 'imperial blue' in the 1930 book by Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill; the color 'imperial blue' is displayed on page 97, plate 37, color sample C12.
  25. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 196; Color Sample of Imperial Blue: Page 97 Plate 37 Color Sample C12
  26. ^ The color displayed in the color box above matches the color called 'regimental' in the 1930 book by Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill; the color 'regimental' is displayed on page 117, plate 47, color sample C10.
  27. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 203 (It is also stated under the entry on 'Persian Blue' on page 201 that the color on plate 47 color sample C10 ('regimental') is a [darker] tone of Persian Blue.); color sample of regimental: page 117 plate 47 color sample C10
  28. ^ web.forret.com Color Conversion Tool set to hex code of color #264348 (Japanese Indigo):
  29. ^ Nagasaki, Seiki. Nihon no dentoshoku : sono shikimei to shikicho, Seigensha, 2001. ISBN 4-916094-53-0
  30. ^ Nihon Shikisai Gakkai. Shinpen shikisai kagaku handobukku, Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai, 1985. ISBN 4-13-061000-7
  31. ^ "It's New and It's Blue" (Indigo advertisement), Globe and Mail, Toronto, October 1, 1999, p. A3
  32. ^ "Indigo Bookstore had a 'Think Blue' campaign back in 1999" according to: "Think Blue 2008: a Before and After Tale of Silly Turf Battles and Redemptive Communication". Retrieved 2013-02-04. [better source needed]
  33. ^ Wired Volume 19 No. 10 October 2011 Page 50
  34. ^ Gallego, Rosa; Sanz, Juan Carlos (2001). Diccionario Akal del color. Akal. ISBN 978-84-460-1083-8.
  35. ^ Article „añil“ in: Enciclopedia de México, vol 1, Mexiko-City: Secretaría de Educacion Pública, 1987
  36. ^ Kitchin, Thomas (1778). The Present State of the West-Indies: Containing an Accurate Description of What Parts Are Possessed by the Several Powers in Europe. London: R. Baldwin. p. 30. 
  37. ^ ASCAP Title Search on author credits
  38. ^ Tansley, David W. Subtle Body: Essence and Shadow 1984 (Art and Cosmos Series--Jill Purce, editor)
  39. ^ Stevens, Samantha. The Seven Rays: a Universal Guide to the Archangels. City: Insomniac Press, 2004. ISBN 1-894663-49-7 pg. 24
  40. ^ Graham, Lanier F. (editor) The Rainbow Book Berkeley, California:1976 Shambala Publishing and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (Handbook for the Summer 1976 exhibition The Rainbow Art Show which took place primarily at the De Young Museum, but also at other museums) Indigo Pages 152–153 The color indigo is stated to represent intuition.
  41. ^ Bailey, Alice A. (1995). The Seven Rays of Life. New York: Lucis Publishing Company. ISBN 0-85330-142-5. 
  42. ^ Oslie, Pamalie Life Colors: What the Colors in Your Aura Reveal Novato, California:2000--New World Library Indigo Auras: Pages 161–174

External links[edit]