Color Measurement of Solid Colors Reply

Honey Yellow, Raspberry Red, Sapphire Blue or Moss Green are very appealing and descriptive color names. But are you sure that every person means the same color by it? Usually not. How do you clearly describe a color and guarantee that same color over time?

Our color perception is dependent on our individual “taste,” which is influenced by our mood, gender, age, but also the light source used, the viewing environment being light or dark, neutral or colorful as well as our deficiency to exactly remember and communicate one specific color. More…

Setting Tolerances for Color Control 11

An example showing the ∆E for the L*a*b* color system. Photo courtesy of BYK-Gardner.

An example showing the ∆E for the L*a*b* color system.
Photo courtesy of BYK-Gardner.

A well-known, if extremely rough, convention in the world of color measurement says that in CIEL*a*b* or CIEL*C*h space, a dE* value of less than one indicates that two colors are visually indistinguishable to the human eye. The reality is far more complex than this. The limits of visual perception actually differ depending upon which portion of color space is being discussed.

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Understanding CIE Illuminants and Observers 12

A standard illuminant and observer are required in order to obtain color readings. Photo courtesy of BYK-Gardner.

A standard illuminant and observer are required in order to obtain color readings.
Photo courtesy of BYK-Gardner.

Color instruments and software packages all contain references to CIE standard illuminants and observers. What do these terms mean and how are they used in practical color evaluations? The CIE (from the French Commission Internationale de L’Eclairage), or International Commission on Illumination, is the worldwide authority on how we see and measure color. BYK-Gardner uses many of these standards in its instruments and available software packages. This paper will give some easy to understand explanations of these standards and how they should be used.

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