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An evaluation of the transferability of Munsell's colour notation methodology to modern inkjet printing technology

Olen, Melissa; Geisow, Adrian; Parraman, Carinna


Melissa Olen

Adrian Geisow


Reiner Eschbach

Gabriel G Marcu

Alessandro Rizzi


© 2015 SPIE. This paper examines the transferability of the Munsell system to modern inkjet colorants and printing technology following a similar approach to his original methods. While extensive research and development has gone into establishing methods for measuring and modelling the modern colour gamut, this study seeks to reintegrate the psychophysical and artistic principles used in Munsell's early colour studies with digital print. Contemporary inkjet printing, with ink sets containing a greater number of primary colorants, are significantly higher in chroma compared to the limited colorants available at the time of Munsell's original work. Following Munsell's design and implementation, our experiments replicate the use of Clerk-Maxwell's spinning disks in order to examine the effects of colour mixing with these expanded colour capacities, and to determine hue distribution and placement. This work revisits Munsell's project in light of known issues, and formulates questions about how we can reintegrate Munsell's approach for colour description and mixing into modern colour science, understanding, and potential application.


Olen, M., Geisow, A., & Parraman, C. (2015). An evaluation of the transferability of Munsell's colour notation methodology to modern inkjet printing technology. Proceedings of SPIE, 9395,

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Journal Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Print ISSN 0277-786X
Electronic ISSN 1996-756X
Publisher Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9395
Book Title Color Imaging XX: Displaying, Processing, Hardcopy, and Applications
ISBN 9781628414851
Keywords inkjet colorants, printing technology, measuring and modelling the modern colour gamut
Public URL
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