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Munsell Colour
The Universal Language

The Universal Language
At the beginning of the 20th century, Professor Albert H. Munsell brought clarity to colour communication by establishing an orderly system for accurately identifying every perceptible colour. Today, the Munsell System is recognised around the globe as the standard for colour notation in the worlds of art, business, science, government and education. It is the universal system for selecting, specifying, and controlling colour- in short, the universal language of colour communication.

The Munsell Colour-Order System
The Munsell colour-order system is a way of precisely specifying colours and showing the relationships among colours. Every colour has three qualities or attributes: hue, value and chroma. Munsell established numerical scales with visually uniform steps for each of these attributes. The Munsell Book of Colour displays a collection of coloured chips arranged according to these scales. Each chip is identified numerically using these scales. The colour of any surface can be identified by comparing it to the chips, under proper illumination and viewing conditions. The colour is then identified by its hue, value and chroma. These attributes are given the symbols H, V, and C and are written in a form H V/C, which is called the "Munsell notation".

Utilising Munsell notations, each colour has a logical relationship to all other colours. This opens up endless creative possibilities in colour choices, as well as the ability to communicate those colour choices precisely.


Hue Standard Viewing Conditions
The Primary System Development of Colour-Order System
Value Munsell and Macbeth
Chroma Special Purpose Standards
Munsell Notation Custom Colour Standards
Colour Space  
Colour Solid  

Mosaic