Appendix - Page 1
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Appendix - Page 1

The Munsell Color System


Appendix - Page 1

It is natural for the reader of this pamphlet to believe that a color system of such relative accuracy and precision as the foregoing is too difficult for application to the color problems of daily life. This feeling, however, is wholly the result of the rudimentary condition of color knowledge. The system and its application are intrinsically simple. If the beginner simply strives for relative accuracy, he will attain quite pleasing results. For such preliminary study it may be helpful to keep in mind the following few suggestions.

1. HUE. Use as few Hues as possible. A single Hue properly used is very effective. If two or more Hues are employed, choose either opposite or closely neighboring Hues.

2. VALUE. Use a high Value with a low Value. Generally one part of high Value will balance three or four parts of low Value.

3. CHROMA. Use a strong Chroma with a weak Chroma. One part of a strong Chroma will balance a number of parts of a weaker Chroma. (Caution: Avoid the overuse of very strong Chromas.)

4. AREA.* Area is inversely proportional to the product of Value times Chroma.** For instance, let W equal one color and Z equal another color.


Summarizes the Munsell Color System and demonstrates how to easily put it into practice.


5. COLOR HARMONY. Harmony is attained when any three of the foregoing rules are followed. Thus it is permissible to use Hues which do not absolutely balance in Gray, provided, however, that the laws of Value, Chroma and Area are obeyed. On the other hand, the law of Chroma may be partially disregarded as long as those of Hue, Value and Area are adhered to.



* Area may be measured in three ways:

(a) Place transparent graph paper over a colored design and count the number of squares imposed upon the various colors. The number of squares is a measure of the Area of each color.

(b) Provided that the design is on a paper of uniform quality, the various colors may be cut and weighed on a scale. The weights will be proportional to the Areas.

(c) Best of all, use a planimeter.

** It must be remembered that this formula is only an approximation.

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Forward Chap 1, Hue Chap 2, Value Chap 3, Chroma Chap 4, Color Wheel Chap 5, Complementaries Chap 6, Color Balance Chap 7, Color Combinations App 1 Summary and Usage App 2 Usage Examples App 3 Hue Nomenclature About This Book

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