NCS Colour Harmonies

The Smartness of the NCS System

Use the smartness of the NCS System to create colour combinations that will appear harmonious. Compositions of colours with one or more of these similarities tend to be more appreciated (more harmonious) than others. With a colour system like NCS based on colour perception, you can easily find these harmonious colour combinations which can bring some order to the infinite number of possible combinations of colours.

Note: The NCS System is based how we perceive colour, hence other surrounding factors will have an effect on how you will perceive the colour in it’s environment e.g. light, tinted windows etc.

How to Create Colour Harmonies in Different Ways

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 -Y10R
Here illustrated with 3 different nuances of the hue -Y10R:

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 2040
Here illustrated with 3 different hues of the same nuance 2040:

Chromaticness

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 XX40
Here illustrated with 3 different colours with the same chromaticness which is 40:

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 20XX
Here illustrated with 3 different colours with the same blackness which is 20:

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 = 40
The whiteness is calculated the following way: 100% – (S+C) = 40%

Here illustrated with 3 different colours with the same whiteness, which is 40. E.g. the whiteness in the nuance 1050: 10 + 50 is 60 and the rest up to hundred is 40, so the whiteness is 40.

NCS System in 3 steps:

Learn more about other colour similarities

The NCS System gives many other opportunities to experiment with colour using other colour attributes.

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