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NCS Colour

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Any colour, any surface, anywhere. NCS - Natural Colour System®© is an International Colour Standard for colour design and specification of buildings and products.

Recognized and used world wide, NCS has a range of 1,950 colours and guaranteed accuracy. It ensures good colour communication between designsers, specifiers, contractors, manufacturers and clients. NCS colour can be specified for all major paint, render and powder coating companies; cladding, laminate, hard flooring, glass, ceramic tile, carpet, and much more.

The NCS System

In order to accurately communicate the colours we see, we need a reference or notation system with the ability to pinpoint precise colour. All the colours in the NCS System have a percentage of Whiteness or Blackness, and this is best illustrated using the NCS Colour Triangle. The NCS Colour Triangle is a vertical slice through the NCS Colour Solid. C stands for maximum colour intensity or Chromaticness, W stands for White and S for Black. The scales for Chromaticness, Whiteness and Blackness are each divided into one hundred parts which can be interpreted as percentages.

The NCS Colour Triangle and the NCS Colour Circle are used to pinpoint colours within the NCS System. The diagram below pinpoints a colour with 30% Blackness and 20% Chromaticness, with a location on the NCS Colour Circle of G30Y. The complete NCS Colour Notation is S 3020-G30Y.

Using the NCS Colour Notation it is easy to define the appearance of a colour. In the notation below 3020 indicates the Nuance of the colour. The Nuance describes the relationship of the colour to Black (S) and to maximum colour intensity or Chromaticness (C). The Whiteness is determined as 50%, as the sum of the values of the three attributes (Chromaticness, Whiteness and Blackness) must always be 100%. The Hue, G30Y, describes the relationship of the colour to the Chromatic Elementary Colours, in this case G and Y. G30Y means Green with 30% Yellow. The letter S preceding the NCS notation means that the colour is from NCS Edition 2.

Achromatic colours (Black, White and Grey) lack Hue and are only given Nuance notations, followed by -N for neutral. S 0500-N is White and is followed by S 1000-N, S 1500-N, S 2000-N and so on to S 9000-N, which is Black.

NCS colour specifying products

We have a wide range of colour specifying products to suit designers, architects, technical development, manufacturing and marketing communication. For architects and specifiers the most useful are the NCS Index, NCS Atlas, NCS Block and the individual NCS sheets.

The NCS Index shows all 1,950 colours. It has a sturdy cover and is a handy size to keep on the desk or take on site. The stripe card layout is very useful for edge to edge colour comparison. A brief explanation of the NCS System is included. 

We would recommend that the NCS Atlas is more appropriate when presentations to clients are necessary.

The NCS Atlas is the Swedish Standard SS019102 and Norwegian Standard NS4974. It is also the national colour standard in Spain and South Africa. The Atlas presents the NCS System most clearly and is the best reference to the 1,950 Original colours for design and architectural offices or libraries. It includes the NCS Colour Circle and the 40 NCS Colour Triangles which represent the variation of nuance for each point of the NCS Colour Circle. In addition there is a page of pure and tinted greys. The NCS Atlas enables calculation of light reflectance values and colour saturation for all colours and includes a full explanation of the NCS System.

When larger samples are required for reference the NCS Block is ideal. It arranges the NCS colours into colour areas to make specification even easier. The small blocks are comfortably held in the hand and fanned out in order to choose specific colours, which can be isolated for edge to edge comparison. The Block set arranged by hue has one block for Red, one for Red-Blue, one for Blue, etc. The Block set arranged by nuance has one block for colours with 10% chromaticness, one for 20% chromaticness, etc.

NCS Sheet is ideal for use when larger samples of colour are required for colour selection, use on colour boards or for making up colour guides for corporate identity, etc.
NCS Sheet is printed on the reverse with a repeat of the notation to enable easy identification.

All 1,950 NCS Original colours are available from stock in A4 and A6 Sheet in the normal low sheen finish. NCS Sheet is printed on the reverse with a repeat of the notation to enable easy identification.

For other products including the NCS Colour Scan, NCS Navigator, technical and educational products please check our website or contact us.

NCS colour training

We offer free access online CPD units and run two full day workshop style colour courses.

For further information


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