Colour Expression

The colorDNA system has been created to scientifically classify human colouring and provide a unique colour profile that includes a personal colour description and identity.

This man’s colour identity has a neutral, orange-based foundation, with medium tones, clear even skin, low saturated greying hair, and moderate contrast between his skin, hair and eyes due to the aging process

colorDNA calls this colour description a ‘colour expression’.

It’s an abstract term used to describe the dynamic interaction and organic relationship between the genetic pigmentation and colour qualities of a person’s skin, hair and eyes.

Light, clear, even low contrast, with natural orange foundation and blue violet highlights

It is a simplified description of a person’s look.

The unique colour expression identity is something each person can embrace and be proud of.

A personalised colour expression and colour profile will help people understand who they are and how their colouring works in the environment in which they live.

The colour of clothing this woman has chosen to wear harmonises beautifully with her dark, red orange skin pigmentation

It will provide for most what the few already have: their own colour sense, and the opportunity to create balance and harmony with clothing, make-up and juxtaposed colour.

This woman’s choice of a warm neutral clothing colour balances and harmonises perfectly between the tone and hue of her skin and hair

The colour expression title may not include all of the unique colour qualities present in a person’s skin, hair and eyes, given it’s a general description. A colour profile will provide a complete description.

A person’s colour expression is animate and in a constant state of natural change, therefore it will need to be updated as colour characteristic qualities change.

The natural aging process in this graphic demonstrates how long some people’s colour expression takes to change, especially if they lead a healthy life without artificial change

The organic nature of human beings and chronic changes that occur on a daily basis, means a person’s colour expression can change in an instant or over many years. These changes can have a short or long-term effect.

The sun has changed this man’s colour expression within a couple of hours, although it will be short term. If he continues to burn himself in the sun, his colour expression will change permanently

The organic nature of human beings and chronic changes that occur on a daily basis, means a person’s colour expression can change in an instant or over many years. These changes can have a short or long-term effect.

A person’s colour expression changes internally through the aging process, health conditions and lifestyle choices, and externally through artificial changes and lifestyle choices.

This person has chosen to change their colour expression through hair colouring and make-up

A person’s colour expression can be affected positively or negatively by the environment they are in and the reflection of colour, especially when it’s close to the face.

The colours this Wodaabe nomad has chosen to decorate himself in have created discord with his natural colour expression, but have quite possibly achieved his desired effect in the tribal beauty competition

It is the same elements of reflecting colours that find balance and harmony or discord, with the same colour qualities of a person’s colour expression.

The low saturation (chroma), material texture, hue and value of this Indian woman’s clothing create balance and harmony with her skin’s natural tone, hue, even low saturation and muted variation

If a person’s colour expression changes naturally or superficially, the elements of juxtaposed colours that find balance and harmony will also need to change.

The natural neutral tones of the animal hide are similar to this man’s natural colour expression and therefore create harmony together

The changing face of humanity has seen an increase in genetic diversity of mixed-race people across the globe that has created an exponential rate of various human colour expressions.

This mixed-race woman has co-dominant medium tones, low contrast and an orange-based foundation hue

Human colour diversity requires a colour system that provides everyone with a unique colour expression.

The colorDNA system achieves this by processing each colour quality from each colour characteristic through a series of algorithms to determine the relationship between the dominant, moderate and recessive colour qualities.

The contrast between this man’s skin, hair and eyes is co-dominant with the light tone of his skin, and dark tone of his hair and eyes. The muted saturation of his dry skin, variable skin blemishes and low saturated hair is moderate

The phenomenon of one colour characteristic quality masking or overriding the effect of another colour quality is termed dominant.

The second, third or fourth qualities are either co-dominate, moderate or recessive.  

The hue and low moderate contrast of this woman is co-dominant, and the saturation across her skin and hair is generally clear and even without many variables. The highlight hue of her eyes has been accentuated further by the colour of her scarf

All four colour characteristic qualities, which includes contrast, are able to dominate or co-dominate a person’s colour expression.

A person’s colour expression title is determined by the colour qualities that dominate their colour characteristics.

However, it is worth noting that each person’s colour expression title includes the hue of their natural foundation pigmentation and any significant highlight or lowlight qualities.

This man’s colour expression is dominated by light tone, low contrast, a red-based skin foundation, with highlight blue violet contrasting eyes

Dominant colour qualities

Within each characteristic there is usually one of the three qualities that dominates or trumps the others.

Most often the same quality dominates across all three human colour characteristics.

This man’s muted, uneven, variable skin and hair colouring is co-dominant with his moderate tone and low contrast

A combination of different dominant qualities across the skin, hair and eyes is known as co-dominant qualities.  

One or all three of an individual’s colour characteristics may have co-dominant qualities.

This man’s clear, even skin and hair contribute moderately to his colour expression, and helps his skin, hair and eyes create co-dominant high contrast

The combination of the three dominant skin, hair and eye colour qualities, plus the contrast between them, will determine which colour quality has overall dominance or co-dominance of a person’s colour expression.

This is most often defined by skin colouring, because it is most often the largest block of colour, is the centrepiece of a person’s head and frames the focal point of the face – the eyes.

However, the larger the block of hair the greater the influence the hair has on a person’s colour expression and on reflecting colours and tones.

The area of hair on this woman is so large the dark tone dominates, especially if her surroundings were of high contrast such as white

Tone is the quality that dominates most people’s skin, hair, eyes and overall colour expression.

The dominant tone may be light through medium to dark.

The highlight blue hue of this man’s eyes is piercing and co-dominates his colour expression with the tone and contrast of his hair. The dark tone of his hair helps to highlight the eyes’ pupils

People with one dark and one light colour characteristic – usually light skin and dark hair – will most likely have co-dominant contrast (depending on the size of the block of dark hair).

Facial tattooing creates contrast on the skin which can be dominant.

The facial tattooing on this Māori warrior is so severe it dominates his colour expression

Dominant medium tone qualities can be difficult to determine.

Medium tone qualities usually occur across all three colour characteristics and are often co-dominant with variable saturation and/or hue and contrast.

This man has co-dominant variable saturation, low contrast and medium tone

The hue colour quality can be dominant within the skin, hair or eyes. 

Eyes are the most obvious colour characteristic with a range of natural dominant hues, such as blue, green, olive or hazel eyes.

Naturally occurring hue can also be dominant within the hair, such as auburn, ginger and strawberry blonde-coloured hair.

The volume of this woman’s hair makes the orange hue and medium tone co-dominant with the contrast between the skin, hair and eyes. The dominance of the hue is also enhanced by the clearness of her skin and hair, which makes the light, clear red foundation of her skin more vibrant and noticeable

Naturally occurring hue, can dominate a person’s skin. However, the skin needs to be light enough for the hue to be able to express itself.

An overall caramel coloured skin (orange-based hue) has a natural medium tone (around 6 on the human skin tone scale) that remains distinguishable.

The clear, even, highly saturated caramel coloured skin of this woman is a dominant feature of her colour expression

If the skin is light the neutral tone will most likely dominate the colour expression, not the hue; however, hue may co-dominate.

Freckles are cells of colour/pigment, and if there are enough of them their hue and tone can be the skin’s dominant colour quality. Freckles create their own variable saturation that needs to be considered.

The striking orange hue of this woman's hair, together with her freckles and blue eyes, combine to dominate her colour expression

Generally, if the freckles and base skin tone are combined and perceived as a single colour, the resultant colour will determine if the hue is expressing itself in a dominant way – technically called optical mixing.

Another hue, which may dominate or co-dominate a person’s skin is redness.

This man’s red face dominates his colour expression, and his orange hair creates an analogous colour combination with his red skin. The analogous colour combination is moderate, along with the low, uneven variable saturation of his skin

Red skin may be permanent or temporary and be caused by such things as blushing, menopause, heat, sunburn, alcohol, acne, rosacea and a number of allergies, infections or health issues.

Dominant colour qualities vary in their levels of dominance. The most obvious colour quality with a range of different dominant levels is skin pigmentation.

For example, the darker the skin pigmentation the more dominant the dark tone quality will be.

This woman’s clear, even medium/dark brown skin dominates her colour expression, given her short hair and moderate contrast

As the level of human skin pigmentation becomes darker and more dominant, so do the hair and eyes.

In most cases, the darker the skin is the easier it is for the skin to mask both the hue and variable saturation. This results in lower contrast between all three colour characteristics and a dominant dark low contrast colour expression.

The dark skin, hair and eyes of this woman create a low contrast deep dark dominant colour expression

Light colour quality dominance within a person’s eyes is not able to mask the hue or variable saturation qualities to the same extent as a dark tone colour quality.  

The lighter the skin pigmentation is, the more obvious blemishes, acne and scars are.

This woman’s acne creates low/moderate, uneven variable saturation contrast. Her medium tone hair also creates moderate contrast. Her dominant colour expression quality is medium tone and moderate contrast

As people age and the intensity of pigment in their colour characteristics changes, so do some of the dominant colour qualities in their skin, hair and eyes.

As the dominance of a single colour quality reduces, the influence of the two other qualities increases.

Contrast between co-dominant colour characteristics can change, such as the colour of a person’s hair, or if they lose hair.

With the reduced hair on this man’s head and the loss of pigmentation in his beard, co-dominant contrast has gone, leaving his dominant colour expression feature as light low contrast

First Name
Last Name
This is some text inside of a div block.
Thank you! Your comment has been received. It will be reviewed and posted, if it meets our policy.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Leave A Comment

First Name
Last Name
This is some text inside of a div block.
Thank you! Your comment has been received. It will be reviewed and posted, if it meets our policy.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.