White and Gold vs Blue and Black – And the Truth Is…

What color is this dress?By now, you’ve heard all about the famous dress that blew up the Internet. Is it white and gold or is it blue and black?

It’s both? It’s neither.

The dress, in fact, isn’t even any color. It’s simply reflecting the light of the color spectrum. The light (color) coming into your eyes.

I know this is difficult to grasp. Imagine what our designers face when working with colors in creating logos, images, adverts and social memes. Color breakdowns using CMYK, RGB, Pantone, etc are all slightly different ad then so is your eye.

Yahoo Tech does a good job of going the various myths and the ultimate truth.

They blame it on the context of color. That is, “Color-extraction theory says that our brains correct color according to the visual context.” So, the color of things (cars, shoes, grass, your company logo, products – everything) and how they are observed are just a reflections of light waves going into your eyes.

Here’s what Wellesley College neuroscientist Bevil Conway told Wired Magazine about the dress, “Your visual system is looking at this thing, and you’re trying to discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis. So people either discount the blue side, in which case they end up seeing white and gold, or discount the gold side, in which case they end up with blue and black.”

This unique effect is produced by these specific colors, in this specific lighting and how it was captured by this photograph.

So, what did you think?

The dress was _________ & ___________.


Richard Bergér is the VP of E-Business for ASTRALCOM, an integrated media services company located near Los Angeles, California. Richard draws on his military and psychology backgrounds to create pervasive content strategies, motivating conversion tactics and targeted audience acquisition for clients. Connect with Richard via his Google+ profile.





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