How color can go wrong

5 Ways Color Goes Wrong

Have you ever manufactured a product or produced a sample you thought was just as your customer described or specified it, and then been told the colors are not accurate? Has this happened to you many times with the same customer?  The tips below will help you more consistently evaluate color and more effectively communicate with customers, avoiding both expensive and time-consuming rework and unhappy customers.

Take these factors into account as you think about evaluating color visually:

  1. Choose the correct lighting condition. Use a light booth to evaluate samples using every light source under which the final product will be seen.
  2. Minimize surrounding light. The only light in the room should be coming from within the light booth. Light is color, and even a little bit streaming through the window or from a table lamp can change the color perception of your sample.
  3. Look fast. You may think that staring will help you focus, but our eyes actually becomeless sensitive after 5-10 seconds of looking at the same object. When judging color, look fast, then rest your eyes before you judge again.
  4. Properly arrange your samples. Place the sample on the bottom of the booth, parallel to the light source. If you’re comparing samples, lay them side-by-side so they’re parallel and touching. Even a slight space between colors can trick your eyes.
  5. Beware of metamerism. Metamerism is a phenomenon that occurs when objects match in one light source, but not another. It commonly occurs when dyes, paints or pigments are changed during production. To check for metamerism, view your samples under a variety of different light sources.

SpectraLight QC Light Sources

For more information about color or how to improve your color workflow, let our color experts help.


Color Theory Course Available!

Numbers of Color

If you are new to color science or just want to refresh your knowledge, our convenient 6-module color theory course is the one for you.

Color Theory: Understanding the Numbers of Color is available in 10 different languages and is applicable to just about any industry. You will learn color theory basics, and we’ll cover lighting and spectrophotometers as well as sharing how you can overcome the universal problem of color communication.

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