What is NCS coding system, natural color system?

What is the NCS coding system?What is the NCS system?

How can you ensure that the green color that the audience describes to you from the forest is the one that you have in mind? The NCS system helps you communicate colors in a way that everyone can understand.

NCS is based on how humans see colors.

Color is what we see, a mental visual sensation. To specify a color, you must describe what you see.

To produce color, how to mix color as well as measurement data is essential, but to communicate with your customer you need a system that determines how people see color.

This coding represents a specific color perception and does not say anything about how the pigments, lights and neural signals that led to the creation of this perception.

With this system, you can describe the color of all surfaces and materials and make sure that the color you get is exactly what you wanted.


The basis of this coding is the natural color system NCS (Natural color system) which is used in the color system industry all over the world for color communication between designers and manufacturers and customers and sellers. Since the NCS coding system is based on The way colors are perceived is visual, allowing you to describe the color of any imaginable surface and get an NCS code.

This has made the NCS color system a global standard for identification, quality assurance and color communication.


Who is the NCS coding system for?

The NCS coding system is used by architects, designers and material manufacturers, the paint industry, product manufacturers and retailers worldwide.


Why is the NCS coding system used?

The NCS coding system provides a unique opportunity for color communication between everyone involved in the color process to ensure that the end result is exactly as it should be.


NCS main colors

NCS main colors


The NCS system started with six basic colors that we know as pure colors:

Yellow(Y), Red(R), Blue(B), Green(G), White(W) and Black(S).

All other colors can be described according to the degree of similarity with the primary colors.


NCS color space

Starting with the primary colors, it became possible to create a three-dimensional descriptive model called the NCS color space, which includes all the colors of the color world. All imaginable colors can be put into this system and thus we are given an NCS code.

This space is displayed in two designs – color circle – and – color triangle – for greater clarity.


The NCS color wheel that shows the color (HUE):The NCS color wheel that shows the color (HUE):

Considering the NCS color space horizontally, we see a circle on which the 4 main colors yellow, red, blue and green are marked and the space between them is divided into 100 equal parts.

Here, for example, you see the color R90B, which means that all the colors of this color (Hue) are 90% similar to blue and 10% similar to red. It’s a red blue with very little red so it’s almost a pure blue.



The NCS color triangle showing the spectrum:The NCS color triangle showing the spectrum:

The NCS color triangle is the vertical part of the NCS color space. Here you can find different shades of blue R90B.

The base of the triangle is the gray scale from white (W) to black (S) and the tip of the triangle is the color strength (C) of each color, here for example R90B.

Similar colors have different amounts of white, black or color strength, which creates different color spectrums.

The white, black and color strength scales are divided into 100 parts, which can be used as percentages like the color circle.




S indicates that this color is part of the NCS 1950 Standard colors.

The first part of the code, here 1050, specifies the percentage of the R90B color spectrum and represents the color triangle in the NCS system.

  • This color has 10% black.
  • It has 50% color strength.
  • The remaining 40% of 100% is white, which is not specified in the NCS code.


The second part of the NCS code here, R90B, specifies the hue, which is described as a position on the NCS color wheel.

  • 90% similarity to blue (B)
  • and (R) for red, which here has 10% similarity to red

The S1050-R90B gives you a single definition of a color, and each color can be described using the NCS system. For example, a color may be given the code 1140-Y85B, which is not one of the standard NCS colors, but can still be described by the NCS system even without the first S of that color code.

Source: ncscoloure.com

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