NCS AS A PRACTICAL TOOL IN DESIGN

Choosing the right colour combination is a necessary means of achieving desired effects in colour-scheming and design. There are of course no given rules concerning what is right and wrong or what is beautiful and ugly, but some guidance can still be offered on the subject of colour-scheming.

Studying the NCS Colour Space, one finds a number of properties which are easily identifiable as similarities of hue, nuance, blackness, chromaticness and whiteness. One can easily study how these similarities between the colours affect the expressive quality of a colour composition. These visual colour attributes have become important tools in the colour design process.

Swedish research studies by Hård/Sivik (1989) suggest that compositions of colours with one or more of these similarities also tend to be more highly appreciated (more harmonious) than others. With a visual colour system like NCS you can quickly find these harmonious colour combinations which can bring some order to the infinite number of possible combinations of colours.

HUE

Colours with the same hue belongs to the same colour family. Colours with the same hue are found on the same place in the circle for example all nuances of R80B. These are all colours in the same triangle and in the same page in the NCS Atlas. A very common way of combining colours in an interior.

HUE R80B
Here illustrated with 3 different nuances (colours) of R80B:
S 1510-R80B
S 4020-R80B
S 3060-R80B

1-R80B

NUANCE

Colour samples having the same nuance are found in the same position in the colour triangle regardless of hue, different pages in the NCS Atlas. Very useful when choosing colours for a colour assortment and in interior design.

NUANCE 3020
Here illustrated with 3 different hues (colours) of the same nuance 3020:

2-same nuance

CHROMATICNESS (STRENGTH)

Colour samples which have the same chromaticness are found on a straight line parallel to the greyscale from white (W) to black (S). The less chromatic the colour is, the closer it is to the vertical grey scale. Useful in interior design and pattern compositions.

CHROMATICNESS 05
Here illustrated with 3 different colours with the same chromaticness which is 05:

4-same chroma

BLACKNESS

Colour samples which have the same blackness are found on a straight line parallel to the scale W-C, between white (W) and the maximum colour (C). The less blackish the colour is, the closer are they to this scale. Also very useful in interior design.

BLACKNESS 30XX
Here illustrated with 3 different colours with the same blackness which is 30:

3-same blackness

WHITENESS

Colour samples which have the same whiteness are found on a straight line parallel to the scale between black (S) and the maximum colour (C). The less whitish, the closer they are to the S-C scale. Useful in pattern compositions.

WHITENESS 60
Here illustrated with 3 different colours with the same whiteness which is 60: S 3010-G90Y, S 2020-B30G och 1030-R80B. The whiteness is the rest up to 100 in the nuance notation. The whiteness in the nuance 3010: 30 + 10 is 40 and the rest up to hundred is 60, so the whiteness is 60.

5-same white