Study the Difference between Color & Appearance

Reviewed by Anurag Mishra (Sr. Technical Consultant)

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The color is defined when there is an interaction between human eye that senses the actual stimulus and physical appearance of the product. This is communicated to the neural system of the humans which helps to interpret the real color of the products which is sensed by the eye. The color of the product can be determined by following the process of colorimetric. Colorimetric is basically the process of color measurements using three primary colors or lights. The combination of three colors forms a curve known as a spectrophotometric curve. This explains the basic photometric description of the lights and colors that makes a trichromatic view of three primary lights. The process also explains that whether two lights together appear to be the same to the viewer or not.

Difference between Color and its Appearance

In the field of color measurement, there is a vast difference between the color of a product and its appearance.  Here we will study about the color and its appearance in detail:


What is Color?

Colors are usually measured using appropriate color spaces and scales.  The most common color scale that is used globally for color measurement is CIELAB. This color measurement scale is based on three letters i.e. L, a, b. This scale works on the three-dimensional model which mathematically represents the value of Delta E.


What is Appearance?

Appearance is the demonstration of the nature of the object through various visual traits like color, texture, shape, opacity, transparency, gloss, and many more. These all are equally important while talking about the color uniformity of a material or product. All the attributes of a product can be measured using different instruments like colors are measured using colorimeters, transparency is measured using transparency tester, and gloss of a product is measured using Gloss Meters. But if we want to measure all the traits or attributes of the product in one go then we have portable spectrophotometers.

Role of Spectrophotometers to Measure Color and Appearance

Spectrophotometers are the best measurement instruments of this era that not only measures the color of the products but also helps to identify different attributes of the products such as transparency, gloss, the color of liquids, powders, solids, etc.  These are the best instrument that clearly explains the color and the appearance of the product.


Testronix offers a wide gamut of portable spectrophotometers that helps to measure the color and appearance of the products as per the requirements. The instrument comprises with the advanced principles of accurate spectroscopy. It is best enough to measure the Delta E value along with the spectral reflectance curve and accurately depicts the factors of color formula.

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