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Ideal Whiteness, Pt. 2 - What's your favourite colour?

This is the second part of our series on whiteness vs brightness. Have a look at the first part here, in case you haven't yet.

Seeing colours is a sensation like feeling or smelling. It isn’t a physical characteristic like kilograms or kilometres. But the perception of colour is a subjective impression. We all experience it differently.


To see colour, we also need light. This may sound quite obvious, but it is an important part of the process. Light is made up of electromagnetic waves (see the diagram for the electromagnetic spectrum). As the diagram shows, the light we can see is only a small proportion of electromagnetic waves.

Colour is generated through the absorption or reflection of certain wavelengths of light. Depending on which wavelength has been absorbed or reflected, we get a different colour impression of an object. This might be red, blue or green. Objects, like an apple for example, only have the ability to absorb or reject certain wavelengths which determines what colour we see them as.

So, why is paper white? 

Paper appears to be white, because all wavelengths of the visible spectrum are reflected equally. But there are more than one kind of white depending on the different brightness, whiteness and shade levels. Some reflect more ‘blueish’ whites, and some more ‘yellow light’. In different places around the world, different kinds of ‘whites’ are preferred. Europe, for example, prefers a bluish white. Whilst in the US and Japan, they like a yellowish white. These different levels of whiteness are measured carefully by people, like us, in the paper industry. So that we can create the best possible paper for digital printing.
Read all about why it's so important for us to always get our whiteness right, in the next and final instalment of this little series.

We'd love to hear from you!

We are here to help. Whether you have a question about our papers or want to order a specific sample. Our team is looking forward to assisting you.

Send us an e-mail to [email protected] or Give us a call: +43 1 79013-4990

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