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Cyan Spectral Number[edit]

If cyan is a pure spectral color, what is its number in order from red to violet?? The order is:

  1. Red
  2. Orange
  3. Yellow
  4. Green
  5. Blue
  6. Indigo
  7. Violet

Cyan is not here. Is cyan sort of #4.5?? Can anyone make a complete list of pure spectral colors?? 18:41, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

There are infinitely many pure spectral colours, so it doesn't make much sense to number them. Cyan is between green and blue. --Zundark 22:11, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well, why don't people include cyan in the sequence?? 22:15, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Sometimes they do. The list you give above is the traditional one, which I think originated with Newton. But it's not definitive. Omitting cyan is not really wrong, as long as you consider all shades of spectral cyan to be shades of green or blue. Similarly, you can omit indigo. --Zundark 22:25, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Can you name some alternates?? 23:18, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Alternates to what? If you mean alternates to the traditional list of spectral colours, I already gave three: add cyan and/or remove indigo. --Zundark 07:16, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Any besides the 3 you already gave?? 02:04, 11 Sep 2004 (UTC)
There'd be infinitely many. Just chop the spectrum up any which way then attach names to the sections you get; e.g. red, reddish orange, orange, yellowish orange, yellow ... indigo, reddish indigo, bluish violet, violet, reddish violet (though you might want some more creative names).
The question is "How many ways can chop it up and end up with sections that fit with the way we ordinarily think about and talk about colours?" Slice it up into 84 sections, for example, and you'll be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the hue of one section and the next. Slice it in three, on the other hand and you'll end up with sections that vary very noticibly in hue.
So, anyway, what's the spectral number of cyan? Yeah, sort of 4.5 if you're using that numbering system. Does it make sense to number them? Perhaps, as long as you keep in mind that the numbering is arbitary.
Just because something is infinitely divisible doesn't mean you can't attach numbers to it. However, perhaps the best numbering system would be wavelength in nanometres (or frequency in petaHertz). - Jimp 24May05

Cyan in a user-friendly world[edit]

Someone wrote at Template talk:Colors that cyan is not-so-well-known by its name outside the world of computers. What do people know it as?? My answer is probably green-blue or blue-green. 22:02, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)


I'm alarmed by this infobox: I think it may oversimplify to a dangerous degree. For instance, RGB 0,100%,100% and CMYK 100%,0,0,0 are by no means the same color. In addition, why is a range of 0 to 255 chosen, when color science will generally use 0 to 1; percentages might be safer... There are already far too many people who asssume that 0 to 255 is the natural and only way to represent color values, who get confused when encountering other systems... In my opinion. Does the infobox have a talk page? Notinasnaid 13:30, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Cyan problem[edit]

The most recent edit of the article (as of this post on its talk page) says that RGB cyan and CMYK cyan are not the same. Can anyone show the difference in detail?? Georgia guy 21:55, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, I could try to explain the difference, but nobody can really show it, because you can only see CMYK on a printed page. The whole area of color and web pages is very difficult. There are good arguments against trying to show any color, because it may look utterly different between different screens. Color management is a nightmare lurking just behind any discussion of color and computers. I think I'd vote against any graphic which claimed to "show" CMYK versus RGB cyan. The best thing might be for you to put some cyan on your screen, and print it, then compare. Notinasnaid 08:31, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

neither RGB nor CMYK are very good/absolute ways to represent colors. a much better way is the so called CIE diagram. colors are represented as a X,Y coordinate in this diagram. for picture. it shows all possible colors. a color system with 3 primaries like RGB covers a triangle shaped area on the diagram (called the gamut). for RGB, imagine a triangle between 470, 620, and 560. cyan can be said to be the area left of that triangle. the closer to the edge of the CIE diagram, the more pure/saturated this cyan color is. so RGB is not good at producing highly saturated cyan. printing ink is a bit better because the cyan printing ink color is outside the RGB gamut (if you ever wondered why a pc monitor can't reproduce cyan well). this also explains why CMYK and RGB cyan are different: they have different CIE coordinates.

"Closer to azure"[edit]

This text was just added: "Cyan ink is actually closer in color to azure, and the lighter shades resembling cyan are created by "half-toning"." There seems to be a problem here. What is the definition of "cyan" that it is unlike? To me, cyan is defined by being the color of cyan ink. There is a serious problem in Wikipedia that no sources are being given for color names and their meanings. Can we improve this? Notinasnaid 23:15, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

But when is "cyan" ink cyan? When it conforms to the lightest additive secondary between green and blue light. So it has best been defined as a stimulus optimum or as the subjective quale caused by it. This seems superior to letting your definition depend on the contingent avarage of ink hues that happens to be sold under the name "cyan". --MWAK 20:19, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Can you provide a reference for this definition, which says that cyan inks aren't cyan? Any sort of reference would be a start on these color articles. The color articles are too subjective, and need references to conform to Wikipedia standards. Notinasnaid 10:15, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Gerritsen gave the first exact and correct definitions using the word cyan; see . Now as to the question whether I have good references proving cyan ink usually is only a fair approximation, I must confess I haven't found them. Of course simply looking at them should suffice, but that won't do here ;o).
Ok, here's another: "cyan: a greenish blue; blue ink used as a primary colour in printing" (Chamber's Dictionary, 2003). Given that, I think it's fair to say that both definitions are right, and to say that printing ink is not cyan in color is simply wrong. I will change the article. Notinasnaid 15:09, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry I made this edit, and never checked back to see if it was being removed and discussed. But it is obvious that the "cyan" of most printing inks is different than the cyan of rgb mixing. You can see it on the side of the funny papers, ad fliers and other color sections of newspapers, where bars or dots are printed of the primary ink colors. (examples with "light" variations: ) Or even computer printing cartridge packages. The "blue" is clearly deeper and less green than 00FFFF. It is much closer to 00C0FF, which is called azure here. (The "magenta" is also deeper and less blue than FF00FF, and is more like FF00C0. Yellow is the same FFFF00)Eric B 00:20, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

is, was, and used to be[edit]

Saying something used to be called something but is now called something else seems so definate to me. I think there should be some qualifiers like, "in the field of printing", in "spectography" or "in regard to computer graphics". --Gbleem 08:56, 28 January 2007 (UTC).

"It is called aqua because it is the color of water (a name in use since 1598)." Which cyan is this? --Gbleem 09:16, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


Why do cyan and robin's egg blue have the same hex representation here?

Because they're the same color? Dicklyon 04:30, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Shades comparison strip charts[edit]

The strips of color in the comparison chart, which generally duplicate the colors provided at the bottom via the templates, are found now only in magenta, cyan, and indigo of all the common color names. I propose we remove it from here, as it's ugly, strange, and duplicative. Any objections or support? Dicklyon 04:30, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

I strongly object to removing these charts. I created all of them and I think they are beautiful. They are not duplicative--the Color Comparison Chart displays the shades of a particular color in approximate order of their shades (from the lightest at the top to most saturated in the middle to the darkest at the bottom) rather than in alphabetical order as in the Shades Template at the bottom of the article. The purpose of these Color Comparison Charts is to enable the Wikipedia user to more easily pick out a particular color which they may need for a particular use. For example, if someone is going to design a website, repaint a room, paint their house, or purchase a new automobile, they can look at the Color Comparison Charts and choose which color is best for or is closest to the color they need. It is much easier to do this when the colors are arranged in order of their shade instead of being arranged in alphabetical order. In addition, they display colors such as Crayola colors which may not be in the regular color articles and thus allow the user a greater selection of colors to choose from. I am restoring all of them with a short explanation as to their purpose and use. Keraunos 08:27, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


I know that it's pronounced with a soft "c" sound, but I've run into countless people who pronounce it with a hard "c", like Cayenne pepper. I don't know how to do IPA spelling, but I think that would be appropriate to add to the article. kostmo (talk) 20:10, 11 May 2008 (UTC)


Isn't that a color that was added after the emergence of computers? Before that, there were blue-greens and green-blues? Or? Said: Rursus 21:04, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

The Lithographer's Manual discusses cyan ink in 1940. Dicklyon (talk) 07:03, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Cyan in nature[edit]

From the article: "Pure water is colorless, but due to scattering can appear to be blue or cyan." This is not entirely true. As discussed in color of water, the color of water is primarily due to absorption, not scattering. See also the spectra in water absorption. It's also not very much of a cyan as it's probably more accurately described as blue, is it not? (talk) 20:22, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Cyan vs синий[edit]

Anybody know the relationship of cyan to Russian синий? Russian has two colors for blue: голубой /galuboj/ is light blue, while синий /sini/ is dark blue. синий is obviously cognate with cyan, yet cyan/turquoise/aquamarine are light blue rather than dark blue. Sluggoster (talk) 07:19, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Cyan in film soundtracks[edit] More to come [[ (talk) 09:16, 5 March 2009 (UTC)]]

I took it out again before I noticed your comment here. When you put it back, add a citation to [1]. Dicklyon (talk) 16:11, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks I was looking for a published book of some sort by that group. Just didn't get back in time before the edits but I'll put that in for now. Thanks [[[User:IRMacGuyver|IRMacGuyver]] (talk) 21:37, 6 March 2009 (UTC)]


The word cyan comes from the Kyane, a fresh water nymph from Greek mythology. Perhaps that should be mentioned somewhere in the article.Lily20 (talk) 17:06, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Cyan[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Cyan's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "OED":

  • From Uranus: "Uranus". Oxford English Dictionary (2 ed.). 1989. 
  • From Yellow: Oxford English Dictionary

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 02:11, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Should blue-green redirect here?[edit]

I don't really see how a colour range that includes viridian could be a synonym for cyan. Serendipodous 10:24, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Please replace the image[edit]

please replace this grid of different colors with an image that is actually cyan or aqua. The colors in this image are for the most part greens and blues. what purpose does this image serve?SiefkinDR (talk) 18:16, 15 November 2013 (UTC)


There is a problem here. The English etymology is ultimately from the Ancient Greek κύανος, but the article links to Wiktionary entry for the Modern Greek the κυανός, which also derives from κύανος but has undergone a shift of accent. This shift of accent from the antepenult in Ancient Greek to an oxytone is quite common in Modern Greek nouns of the second declension and many adjectives of the first and second declension, especially when one of the Ancient Greek syllables has undergone iotacism, as is the case with the upsilon in κύανος. Do readers of this article really care about that? Probably not, so instead of explaining it we should remove the link to the el:Wiktionary until an entry is created for the ancient version, as it is technically incorrect.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Jpbrenna (talkcontribs) 22:52, 2 March 2015 (UTC)‎