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Vivex Color Prints

Vivex was an early color photography process produced in 1928 by the British company Colour Photography Ltd. It was the first color printing service and accounted for 90% of color print photography in the UK until the start of World War II, when most of its staff joined the Armed Forces.

The Vivex process involved using three negatives on waxed cellophane, one negative for each primary color: cyan, magenta, and yellow. After processing, the three negatives were printed on top of each other to achieve the final print.

Artists often struggled with clarity in Vivex images due to the multiple negatives. However, this method of processing was valued for its opportunity to manipulate color with creative influence.

Quick Facts

  • In order to popularize commercial photography, Colour Photography Ltd. supplied photographers with Vivex color prints from their separation negatives at very low prices
  • Colour Photographs Ltd. gave particular attention to the selection of pigment materials with excellent light-fast properties
  • The Vivex process allowed for color manipulation, helping bring artistic merit to photography

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