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  • Universal Color - Munsell

Universal Color Standards - Munsell

Munsell is a system which numerically describes 300 colors.

It encompasses the 3 dimensions of a color:

1. Hue - the color (such as red)

2. Value - the lightness or darkness of the color (coded numerically, the higher the number the lighter the color/ the lower, the darker)

3. Chroma - the dullness or purity of a color (coded numerically, the higher the number the purer the color / the lower the number, the more dulled or greyed). Most artists in the U.S.A. refer to this characteristic as "saturation". Sometimes, the terms saturation and chroma are used interchangeably. When scientists analyze the color of light, saturation and chroma are not the same.

In the scientific study described in Color & Energy Matters the Munsell System was used to designate a specific range of the colors that created the effect.

The following illustration is a screen capture of the Munsell color palette in from a graphic application.


This information is for educational purposes only and does not represent an endorsement of any commercial product. Other systems include the Pantone, Toyo and Trumatch for graphic design, and the C.I.E. system for international standardization of color.

For more information see Modern color models


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