The Munsell color technique is a color system that specifies colors according to three color dimensions, hue, value, and chroma (difference from gray at a given hue and lightness).

Professor Albert H. Munsell, an artist, wanted to generate a “rational strategy to describe color” in accordance with the principle of “perceived equidistance”, and that would use decimal notation instead of color names (that he felt were “foolish” and “misleading”). He first started work towards the machine in 1898 and published it in full form in Color Notation in 1905. The munsell soil color chart is still used today.

Munsell constructed his system around a circle with ten segments, arranging its colors at equal distances and selecting them in such a way that opposing pairs would result in an achromatic mixture.

The machine is made up of an irregular cylinder with the value axis (light/dark) running down and up through it, as does the axis of your earth.

Dark colors are towards the bottom from the tree and light at the very top, measured from 1 (dark) to 10 (light).

Each horizontal “slice” of the cylinder across the axis is really a hue circle, that he divided into five principal hues: red, yellow, green, blue, and purple, five intermediates, yellow-red, green-yellow, blue-green, purple-blue, and red-purple.

Munsell hue is specified by selecting one of those ten hues, and then talking about the angle inside them from 1 to 10.

“Chroma” was measured right out of the center of the wheel, with lower chroma being less saturated (washed out, such as pastels). Be aware that there is absolutely no intrinsic upper limit to chroma. Different aspects of the colour space have different maximal chroma coordinates. For example light yellow colors have significantly more potential chroma than light purples, due to nature of the eye along with the physics of color stimuli. This led to a wide array of possible chroma levels, plus a chroma of 10 may or may not be maximal based on the hue and value.

A color is fully specified by 85dexupky the three numbers. As an example a relatively saturated blue of medium lightness would be 5B 5/10 with 5B meaning the color in the center of the blue hue band, 5/ meaning medium lightness, along with a chroma of 10.

The initial embodiment from the system (the 1905 Atlas) had some deficiencies being a physical representation of your theoretical system. They were improved significantly inside the 1929 Munsell Book of Color and through a substantial group of experiments carried out by the Optical Society of America in the 1940’s causing the notations (sample definitions) for your modern Munsell Book of Color. The program continues to be commonly used in many different applications and represents one of the best available data sets around the perceptual scaling of lightness, chroma and hue.

Advantages: A fairly simple system for comparing colors of objects by assigning them a pair of numbers according to standard samples. Widely used in practical applications for example painting and textiles.

Disadvantages: Complementary colors are certainly not on opposite sides, to ensure one cannot predict the outcomes of color mixing adequately.