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6 Examples of Color Saturation

Saturation is a color's freedom from white and black. A pure hue is more saturated than a color that has been mixed with white, black, gray or the hue's complementary color. The following are illustrative examples of color saturation.


Reducing the intensity of color deceases its saturation. For example, if your phone goes into power saving mode while you are shopping for pants the phone may reduce the intensity of the display to save power. This reduces the saturation of color such that you may be surprised at your purchase when it arrives. The following are the same color captured on the same computer screen at an intensity setting of 100% and 20%.
You can test this yourself by changing the intensity of your screen and the image on the left will appear far darker and less colorful.

Mixing Hues

Generally speaking, mixing hues creates a new hue that is no less saturated. This requires a subtractive color system such as watercolor paint that allows colors to be mixed. The theoretical results of color mixing aren't always the same as realities due to factors such as the chemical properties of paint or ink.

Mixing Complements

Complementary colors are colors that are at maximum contrast with each other. Mixing complementary hues results in a grey color that is less saturated than the two input colors.


Saturation is a color's brightness when compared to white. Mixing any color with white, known as tinting, reduces its contrast with white and thus also reduces color saturation.


Mixing a color with black, known as shading, reduces the intensity of a color and thus also reduces color saturation.

Mixing with Gray

Grays can be produced with white and black. As such, mixing a hue with gray has the effect of both shading and tinting. This reduces color saturation.
Overview: Color Saturation
Definition (1)
A color's freedom from white and black.
Definition (2)
The degree of a color's intensity and contrast with white.
Definition (3)
The colorfulness of a color.
Related Concepts

Color Theory

This is the complete list of articles we have written about color theory.
Analogous Color
Color Combinations
Color Depth
Color Harmony
Color is Real
Color Perception
Color Purity
Color Saturation
Color Scheme
Color Space
Color Symbolism
Color Temperature
Complementary Colors
Corporate Colors
Heat Map
Impossible Colors
Monochromatic Color
Primary Colors
Rainbow Colors
Spectral Color
Tints And Shades
Visible Spectrum
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Color Theory

An overview of color theory.


A large collection of color palettes.

Color Characteristics

The basic characteristics of colors.

Color Purity

The definition of color purity with examples.

Primary Colors

An overview of different types of primary colors.

Color Perception

The characteristics of color perception.

Matching Colors

Palettes of matching colors by matching method.

Light Red Is A Color

Why light red is a color with examples.

Does Color Exist

Why color does and doesn't exist.

Bright Colors

A large palette of bright colors.

Neon Colors

An overview of neon color with a color palette.

Amber Color

An overview of the color amber with a color palette.


An overview of the color aqua with a palette of aqua colors.


The common types of chartreuse color.


An overview of the color vermilion with a palette.


An overview of the color ultramarine with a palette.


An overview of azure color with an azure palette.
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