Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ronnier Luo


  • Jose Luis CaivanoEmail author
  • Paul Green-Armytage
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27851-8_225-1



Visual appearance refers to how things look to the visual system. Objects have physical properties, and in this regard, optical properties are usually most relevant together with size, texture, shape, etc. But what finally matters for vision is the appearance that objects have for an observer (human observers will be mainly referred to in this article; however, this is not restrictive to human beings since there are many other living species that have similar visual processing systems). The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as well as the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) define appearance as the aspect of visual experience by which objects are recognized [1, 2]. The ASTM specifies, furthermore, the definition of appearance from a psychophysical point of view: “perception in which the spectral and geometric aspects of a visual stimulus are integrated with its...


Primary Sensation Visual Appearance Visual Sensation Spatial Form Color Appearance 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Buenos Aires and ConicetBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.School of Design and ArtCurtin University of TechnologyPerthAustralia