It is generally accepted that a RGB color image can be easily encoded by using a gray-scale compression technique on each of the three color planes. Such an approach, however, fails to take into account correlations existing between color planes and perceptual factors. We evaluated several linear and non-linear color spaces, some introduced by the CIE, compressed with the vector quantization technique for minimum perceptual distortion. To study these distortions, we measured contrast and luminance of the video framebuffer, to precisely control color. We then obtained psychophysical judgements to measure how well these methods work to minimize perceptual distortion in a variety of color space.© (1997) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.