An alternative way of looking at the colour cube is to take the white vertex as the starting point instead of the black one. If you have made our colour cube (on the page from which we started this explanation) you will be able to turn it around to see what we mean. There are three faces adjacent to the white vertex which have edges with increasing amounts of the secondary colours, cyan, magenta and yellow (CMY).

In printing and painting it is more natural to use white as the origin because we start with a white sheet and remove whiteness from it by placing pigments which absorb some colours and only reflect the ones we see. By putting such pigments on top of each other, if they are somewhat transparent, or by mixing them, they absorb more colours and thus subtract more from white.

This is simply an alternative way of viewing the same set of colours comprising all the points in the cube.

our URL
Full cube framework.

Printers use a system called CMYK rather than CMY. This is because it is very difficult to achieve neutral shades of grey (or black) by mixing only cyan, magenta and yellow. Black is used as a fourth pigment to make it easier.

There is yet another way of thinking about the colour cube which we will show on the next page