Warm Hues

During the human colour classification research, we made a number of interesting discoveries, one of which is all humans have warm skin pigmentation.

To understand the full range of human colouring, we digitally scanned photographs of thousands of people from all corners of the globe.

We understand photographs can have varying qualities; however, the results remain the same.

Young Shaman - Mentawi Islands, West Sumatra, Indonesia

There are four general underlying human skin pigmentation hue categories – red, red orange, orange and yellow orange.

General human skin hue categories - This graphic is only an indication of the skin hue categories, not actual skin colours

There were some people whose underlying skin colouring was close to the yellow hue category; however, there were none we analysed which were categorically yellow.

Yellow orange-based skin pigmentation

There were also some people who were close to the red violet category, but we did not find anyone outside of the red skin hue category.

This included people with light skin tones, through medium to dark skin tones.

Red-based skin pigmentation

That’s not to say there aren’t people in the yellow category.

One thing for sure with human colouring – there is always an exception to the general population.

LES ORIGINES DE LA BEAUTE - lesoriginesdelabeaute.com

Therefore, I’m sure there is someone out there who has an exceptional colour difference to what we discovered.

Skin colouring

Below are examples of a dark and a light medium orange skin tone.

Dark orange
Light medium orange

Below are two more examples of the same underlying red hue skin category, but with different levels of skin tone.

Deep dark red
Light medium red

Institutions such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), the US National Library of Medicine and The Royal Society Publishing have published research articles on the evolution of human skin pigmentation.

They only refer to skin pigmentation as different levels of light and dark skin, with no reference to the underlying hue.

Orange-based skin pigmentation
  • How and why did the different underlying pigmentation colours come about in humans?
  • Why are there different light and dark skin tones of the same hues?

Hopefully our findings instigate further research into this phenomenon.

Harbisson’s human colour wheel

In my research I came across something super surprising and pretty amazing. I should have known about this guy earlier.

Neil Harbisson is a colour-blind artist.

Neil Harbisson

Harbisson is the world’s first cyborg (yeah, cyborg). Instead of seeing colour he hears it via a camera attached to an antenna which leads to a chip implanted in his skull.

He creates sound portraits of people, based around the colours of their face and has created a colour wheel based on the hue and light of human skin colours.

What is fascinating about Harbisson’s human colour wheel is that the hues are the same four general hue categories we found in our research.

Furthermore, in a Rotterdam study in 2012, where the natural variation in human skin pigmentation in Europeans was researched by nine authors, it was found that all people, light and dark, had skin pigmentation within the same colour categories we found.

While yellow was mentioned as a skin pigmentation hue in this study, their yellow category is equivalent to the colorDNA yellow orange category – as detailed in their hue and saturation table below.

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