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The NCS colour space

Built with three pairs of complementary colours. The elementary colour pairs: Red–Green and Blue–Yellow form the four points of the NCS colour wheel. The addition of White and Black creates a three-dimensional colour space that can describe all colours.

Hue

In the NCS notation the Hue of a colour is specified by its position relative to the two closest elementary colours of the NCS colour wheel

Nuance

The Nuance of a colour is determined by its Blackness and Chromaticness as represented in the NCS Colour Triangle.

Locating a Colour Within the NCS Colour Space

Benefits of the NCS

One universal colour language and obtaining colour accuracy

Understanding the relationship between colours, based on their NCS notations, helps to discover underlying similarities between groups of colours and can enable improved evaluation of those colours.

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Showcase 31 Jul 2014

The Natural Colour System

The Natural Colour System (NCS) is the best way to match colours accurately, across mediums and materials.

Understanding NCS

NCS (or Natural Colour System) is a colour system based on how humans perceive and experience colour. Any colour can be defined and given a precise notation regardless of material, enabling efficient and accurate colour conversations between designers, architects and colour professionals.

The NCS colour space is built with three pairs of complementary colours. The elementary colour pairs: Red–Green and Blue–Yellow form the four points of the NCS colour wheel. The addition of White and Black creates a three-dimensional colour space that can describe all colours.

The NCS colour space

Built with three pairs of complementary colours. The elementary colour pairs: Red–Green and Blue–Yellow form the four points of the NCS colour wheel. The addition of White and Black creates a three-dimensional colour space that can describe all colours.

Components of the NCS Notation

The NCS colour space contains 10 million colours, with subtle differences in hue and nuance. From these millions of colours, a set of 1,950 colours has been selected, which cover the requirements of most professional applications. This is known as the NCS Standard set. Any colour within this set is defined by its Hue and Nuance.

  • Hue: In the NCS notation, the Hue of a colour is specified by its position relative to the two closest elementary colours of the NCS colour wheel.
  • Nuance: The Nuance of a colour is determined by its Blackness and Chromaticness as represented in the NCS Colour Triangle. 
  • Blackness: Amount of white or black the colour contains. 
  • Chromaticness: chromatic strength of the colour.

Hue

In the NCS notation the Hue of a colour is specified by its position relative to the two closest elementary colours of the NCS colour wheel

Nuance

The Nuance of a colour is determined by its Blackness and Chromaticness as represented in the NCS Colour Triangle.

Locating a Colour Within the NCS Colour Space: S denotes that the colour is from the NCS standard set. 0570 denotes the nuance of the colour. The first two digits  denote the percentage of Blackness. The next two digits denote  the percentage of Chromaticness. Y30R The second part of the notation denotes the hue, as a relationship between two adjacent colours. 

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Mapping Asian Paints Colours to the Natural Colour System.

Each of Asian Paints 1,800 colours has been mapped to the NCS colour space.  This can be used to specify the NCS notation for the swatches from your colour palettes. 

Benefits of the NCS

NCS is the preferred choice for colour professionals internationally because of four key benefits:

One Universal Colour Language: An NCS notation represents a specific colour percept, describes the colour visually and is not dependant on limitations caused by pigments or light rays. As a result, everyone can be very clear in communication about the colour and speak a common language in any colour discussion.

Benefits of the NCS

One universal colour language and obtaining colour accuracy

Obtain Colour Accuracy: Working with NCS means that colour can be communicated easily and consistently between the specifier, client, manufacturer, and contractor, regardless of location and material.

Analyse Colour Collections: Understanding the relationship between colours, based on their NCS notations, helps to discover underlying similarities between groups of colours and can enable improved evaluation of those colours. 

Colour Management in Products & Branding: NCS helps select reliable colour standards from which all productions are matched, enabling accurate selection and reproduction of colour, from initial design to production and colour reproduction.

Understanding the relationship between colours, based on their NCS notations, helps to discover underlying similarities between groups of colours and can enable improved evaluation of those colours.