When Is White Not A White?

Of course white is white right? Nope.

Talking about color is so important and unless you are in the position where you are actually in the heart of it like I am, half these color factoids that I post about people don’t even know about or realize. I’m glad I’m here today to tell you about how white isn’t aways white and how it can be used as a totally different hue. Crazy right? Come read.

milk

I recently posted an article on When Is Gray Not A Gray and But I Love Sea Salt! . These two posts are very color specific and tell you more than “oh it’s a pretty color” and then there is a photo attached from Pinterest. I actually tell you why a color is either good, bad or indifferent and today, I’m talking about white.

This is actually a photograph of milk on a clear plate. It’s not a very good photo and I apologize for that but it’s clear enough to illustrate my point today.

Look at the milk on the plate. It looks blue doesn’t it? Well of course some parts look white, some pink, some gray and some blue. White, like most colors, comes in many variations based on it’s undertone. Milk for the most part is white but when photographed or shown on TV it has a tendency to turn blue.

Ever see those cereal commercials where you have a yummy bowl of cereal and then someone pours a boatload of milk on it? Well that is not actually milk but through the magic of TV, it appears to be milk and is super white. If they actually used milk, it would have a really gross blue-gray color because milk (some whites) just photograph that way and they would never sell any cereral. I think I heard they use some type of turbo white glue mixture in place of milk just so it photographs white.

white_milk_blue_hue

This can happen when people want to paint their home a super sterile neutral such as white and it comes out looking light a light gray or light blue. I know this for a fact because one day I needed a super subtle light blue for a ceiling in my clients home and I actually used a white. My client was looking at me like I was nuts but when I showed her how very white the chip was plus turning it upside down like you should view ceiling colors, it looked blue. She was flabbergasted.

Another good example? All you snow loving people, how does snow look when you’re outside or when you photograph it? Blue right? Right.

Ok so that is my 2¢ on white. It’s a tricky one to work with so you really have to know your whites and how to handle them. If you get stuck or need help, you know where to find me!

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2 Responses to When Is White Not A White?

  1. You turn color swatches upside down to look at them? I’ve never heard that, good tip.

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