Why are there three primary colors?

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If we call something a primary color, we just mean that it is one of a few very useful colors that can be used to make a whole bunch of other colors! Three is a very good number to have because it is usually the smallest number of colors that can make all other colors.   

If you think about a rainbow having six main colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple, you can actually make all those colors by using only three of them. Red and yellow make orange. Blue and yellow make green. Red and blue make purple. With only three crayons, you can draw a whole rainbow! If you only had two primary colors, like red and blue, you couldn’t make orange, green, or yellow, so it’s important that there are three.  

A lot of people learn that the three primary colors are red, yellow, and blue, but they don’t have to be. To people who work with light, the primary colors are often red, blue, and green. The primary colors of most inkjet printers are magenta (a pinkish red,) cyan (a light blue,) and yellow. By combining those three colors in different combinations our printers can print any color we need.

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Sources & links

    “color theory.” Handprint. 5 July 2009. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.
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