(British) or gray
(American – see spelling differences
) describes the tints and shades
ranging from black
. These, including white and black, are known as achromatic colors
or neutral colors
. In recent years, "neutral colors" had been reclassified. These "new" neutrals have low colorfulness
and/or chroma on the color wheel.
Greys are seen commonly in nature and fashion. Grey paints can be created by mixing complementary colors (that is colors directly opposite on the color wheel, e.g. yellow and violet). In the RGB color model used by computer displays, it is created by mixing equal amounts of red, green, and blue light. Images which consist wholly of neutral colors are called monochrome, black-and-white or greyscale.
In color theory
Most grey pigments have a cool or warm cast to them, as the human eye can detect even a minute amount of saturation. Yellow, orange and red create a "warm grey". Green, blue, or purple, create a "cool grey". When there is no cast at all, it is referred to as "neutral grey" or simply "grey".
| WARM GREY|| COOL GREY |
| Mixed with 6% yellow. || Mixed with 6% blue. |
Two colors are called complementary colors if grey is produced when they are combined. Grey is its own complement. Consequently, grey remains grey when its color spectrum is inverted, and so has no opposite, or alternately is its own opposite.
Artists sometimes use the two different spellings to distinguish between strict combinations of black and white versus combinations that have elements of hue.
There are several shades of grey available for use with HTML and CSS in word form, while there are 254 true greys available through Hex triplet. All are spelled with an a: using the e spelling can cause unexpected errors (this spelling was inherited from the X11 color list), and to this day, Internet Explorer's Trident browser engine does not recognize "grey" and will render it as green. Another anomaly is that "gray" is in fact much darker than the X11 color marked "darkgray;" this is because of a conflict with the original HTML gray and the X11's "gray," which is closer to HTML's "silver." The three "slategray" colors are not themselves on the greyscale, but are slightly saturated towards cyan (green + blue). Note that since there are an even (256, including black and white) number of unsaturated shades of grey, there are actually two grey tones straddling the midpoint in the 8-bit grayscale. The color name "gray" has been assigned the lighter of the two shades (128 also known as #808080), due to rounding up. In browsers that support it, "grey" has the same color as "gray."
|HTML Color Name
||Hex triplet |
|| (rendered by name)
|| (rendered by hex triplet) |
|| #D3D3D3 |
|| #808080 |
|| #A9A9A9 |
|| #696969 |
|| #778899 |
|| #708090 |
|| #2F4F4F |
Color coordinates RGB
- Grey values result when r = g = b, for the color (r, g, b)CMYK
- Grey values are produced by c = m = y = 0, for the color (c, m, y, k). Lightness is adjusted by varying k. In theory, any mixture where c = m = y is neutral, but in practice such mixtures are often a muddy brown (see CMYK#Why black ink is used).HSL_and_HSV :
- Greys result whenever s is 0 or undefined, as is the case when v is 0 or l is 0 or 1
The color grey is often associated with aging or the passage of time, likely due in part to the decreased pigment-production of hair follicles in time, corresponding to the greying of human hair. In this context, grey is often used synonymously with "elderly," as in "the grey pound
" or "grey power" (when referring to the economic or social influence of the elderly), or as used by groups such as the Gray Panthers
In popular culture
- In a moral sense grey is either used
- pejoratively to describe situations that have no clear moral value, or
- positively to balance an all-black or all-white view (for example, shades of grey represent magnitudes of good and bad).
- In folklore, grey is often associated with goblin folk of several kinds. Scandinavian folklore often depicts their gnomes and nisser in grey clothing. This is partly because of their association with dusk, partly because these races, including elves (see below), often are outside moral standards (black or white).
- A "grey person" is someone who goes unnoticed, a wallflower.
- Grey is often synonymous with things that are dull and boring
- Grey represents pessimism whereas its opposite, optimism, is represented by the color rose.
- A concept that is in a grey area is a concept about which one is unsure what category in which to place it.
- In baseball, grey is the color typically used for road uniforms. This came about because in the 19th and early 20th century, away teams didn't normally have access to laundry facilities on the road, thus stains were not noticeable on the darker grey uniforms as opposed to the white uniforms worn by the home team.