I've noticed that several ink commenters refer to some colors as "saturated" more so than other colors. The term as so used seems to be abused, so I'm hoping to clear it up somewhat.
First, saturation in the chemical sense should not be used to describe an ink because we can't know how much solvent/solute the solution contains without some titration experiments that don't add much value.
Therefore, color saturation is what I believe many are referring to. But saturation properly defined is the degree to which a color deviates from a perfect neutral along the white-grey-black line. By definition, every black ink is not saturated at all. Using saturation to describe the difference between a "watery" black like Perle Noire vs drier black like Aurora Black is inappropriate. The difference between them is one of opacity rather than color saturation; as black inks they have zero color saturation.
The closer an ink is to a primary color, the more "saturated" it is. The farther away from a primary color (whether in the black direction -- a shade-- or in the white direction-- a tint), the less saturated the ink's color is.
Consider a standard color picker like this one:
The most saturated location on the square is the upper-right corner. As the color goes towards the left, it becomes more white. As it goes down, it becomes more black. Thus, the least saturated locations are the other 3 corners.
The strip near the square contains primary hues. Any of them could represent the upper right hand corner of the square.
Please, if you use the word "saturated," mean that the color is close to the upper right hand corner-- close to a primary hue.
For your consideration.
Edited by Hohn, 18 August 2011 - 12:13.