Like geographic coordinates – longitude, latitude, and altitude – L*a*b* color values give us a way to locate and communicate colors. What’s the history of L*a*b*? In the 1940’s, Richard Hunter introduced a tri-stimulus model, Lab, which is scaled to achieve near uniform spacing of perceived color differences. While Hunter’s Lab was adopted as the de facto model for plotting absolute color coordinates and differences between colors, it was never formally accepted as...

Posted October 08, 2018 by Tim Mouw

When it comes to the way we see color, our eyes can be deceived. This is partially caused by our humble brain, which is managing vast amount of information and processing it the best it can. It can also be related to genetics and the environment; we all see color a little differently. But above all, LIGHT has biggest impact on the colors we see.  Without getting too technical, here is an introduction to the way light affects our perception of color. RGB Color Circle The temperature of lig...

Posted July 19, 2018 by Shoshana Burgett

If you’re measuring wet and dry paints, plastics, cosmetics, or small and odd-shaped samples, you’ll want to take a look at our new MetaVue VS3200 non-contact imaging spectrophotometer. It’s the perfect choice for industrial applications in coatings, plastics, food, cosmetics and more. Today we’ll demonstrate the power of its smart spot and on-screen targeting features and explain how it can integrate seamlessly with your formulation, quality control, and performance opt...

Posted March 21, 2018 by Tim Mouw

Warm weather is just around the corner and spring is in the air!   Fluffy yellow chicks…   Delicate pink tulips…   Soft green sprouts poking through the ground…   And, of course, spring M&M'S®! Advertisers target our springtime emotions through pastel colors. Pastels have a calming effect, and everywhere you look companies are using them to feed our desire to feel a bit of spring. Today we’ll take a look at the psychology of color, how marke...

Posted March 19, 2018 by Shoshana Burgett

When customers are just getting started with color management, they often ask, "What is the difference between a spectrometer and a spectrophotometer?". With such a minute spelling difference, it's easy to make a quick typo and get the wrong answer for this color question. So...what's the difference? Spectrometers vs. Spectrophotometers    What is a Spectrophotometer? A spectrophotometer is a color measurement device that is used to capture and evaluate color on just about anything, in...

Posted March 05, 2018 by X-Rite Color

The two most common spectrophotometers are the 0:45 and the sphere (aka diffuse/8°). We get a lot of questions about which is the best choice. Here’s the difference in how these two devices measure color, and guidelines for when to use each. 0:45 In a “fixed geometry” or “single angle” device, the first number is the starting point of the light, and the second number is where the light ends up after the reflection off the surface of the sample. In a 0:45 ...

Posted January 18, 2018 by Mike Huda

Using a light booth to visually judge color is a great start to a successful color evaluation program. It allows you predict how color will look under multiple light sources so there won’t be any color surprises when the light changes over the life of the product. Introducing a color measurement device to capture spectral data is the next logical step. For a really great color program, you need to use both a light booth AND a spectrophotometer. This dynamic duo offers benefits you can&rsqu...

Posted December 18, 2017 by Mike Huda

If you work behind a paint counter, you know customers can surprise you with interesting and unique objects to color match. Many samples are relatively easy to measure, but when a customer shows up with a curved baseboard panel, a square of shag carpet, or a plush toy, things can get a little tricky. A few years ago, we learned just how challenging it was for our retail paint customers to color match unique samples. We took in a bag with textured and multi-colored items and asked the person behi...

Posted December 04, 2017 by Tim O'Rourke

Recently we blogged about how appearance affects color. In this article we look at some of the characteristics that impact an object’s appearance, such as texture, gloss, transparency, and special effects, and explain why it’s crucial to describe appearance in the early stages of the design workflow.  While 3D programs have attempted to address appearance aspects for years, there has been a missing link in virtual product design: the ability to integrate characteristically &ldqu...

Posted November 29, 2017 by Thomas Meeker

Whether purchasing a new car, consumer electronics, or household appliances, color consistency influences the perception of quality. If the color doesn’t match from front-to-back and side-to-side, customers will likely question the quality and move on. That’s where color measurement can help. In today’s competitive marketplace, manufacturers are going beyond color to utilize extreme effect finishes to differentiate their products. But, as manufacturers are quickly learning, me...

Posted October 25, 2017 by Thomas Meeker

The World Series starts next week. While players and fans are gearing up for the big event, stadium groundskeepers are preparing, too. You’ve surely seen those meticulous patterns in the grass – crisscross, spiral, plaid – but do you know how the groundskeepers create them? Thanks to a phenomenon called geometric metamerism (aka gonio-appearance), the grass really is greener on the other side. Read on to learn more about this optical illusion that can trick your eyes and wreak havoc on y...

Posted October 17, 2017 by Mike Huda

Color is our perception of reflected light across the visible spectrum. When light hits an object, it absorbs some rays and reflect others. The color of light that reflects back into our eyes is the color we perceive. The more light an object absorbs, the darker it appears. With black, very little light is reflected. Pure black in the presence of light wasn’t achieved until 2014 when Surrey NanoSystems announced the invention of Vantablack. This high-tech artificial substance absorbs 99....

Posted October 13, 2017 by Mike Huda

Whether you manufacture plastics, coatings, or textiles, the reality is the same: If you don’t achieve consistent color, your product won’t sell. In fact, at the shelf, most people decide whether they’re going to purchase a product within 90 seconds, and much of that decision is based on color. We know it can feel overwhelming to make changes to your production workflow, especially if you think it’s “good enough.” But the industry is changing. Brands are demanding more accurate color, fa...

Posted October 03, 2017 by Tim Mouw

We frequently get calls from customers who can’t figure out why their measurements vary, even when they’re using maintained devices. Why would a sample read one way one day, then slightly different another? Many times the culprit is thermochromaticity, and it becomes an even bigger problem as the seasons change. Every kind of material changes color with temperature. These changes cause the material to exhibit a shift in reflected wavelengths of light, which can alter our perception....

Posted September 19, 2017 by Mike Huda

Have you ever sent out a job that passed your inspection, only to have the customer reject it for out-of-tolerance color? You recheck the data and the instrument says the color passed the agreed tolerance… why is the customer saying it doesn’t? We get a LOT of these conflicting measurement calls in technical support. The solution is simple – document a color control program that clearly defines how to assess color, then make sure everyone (including your customer) follow...

Posted September 08, 2017 by X-Rite Color

If you’re reluctant to buy clothing and home decorating products online or in the store because you’re not sure how the color will look when you get home, you’ll love X-Rite’s newest color-matching solution. Color-Eye® uses a calibration card and smartphone app to help consumers shop for items that match or complement things they already have at home, like a paint color that looks great with the curtains, a handbag and shoes that coordinate with a special occasion dress, or a jacket that will ma...

Posted August 15, 2017 by Matt

Color measurement devices are used to capture, communicate, and evaluate color. From cardboard packaging to food, laundry soap, carpeting and small plastic parts, color measurement devices help ensure the color being produced matches the color that was originally specified. They’re used behind the scenes in just about every industry where color is important, including plastics, textiles, paints, coatings, print and packaging. There are basically two types of color measurement instruments: color...

Posted August 06, 2017 by Tim Mouw

If you recently invested in a spectrophotometer or colorimeter, you know there’s a lot more to learn about color measurement than just how to use your new device. To help you begin exploring the exciting world of color, we’ve compiled seven blogs that explain how to set up your color measurement device, care for it, and use it to its maximum potential. 5 Tips for Setting Up Your Spectrophotometer Using a spectrophotometer (“spectro” for short) to measure color doesn’t mean you’ll automatically ...

Posted July 25, 2017 by Mike Huda

Whether you’re producing textiles, automotive parts, or plastic pieces, color needs to remain consistent or the final product will be rejected. Unfortunately, there are many ways for color errors to creep in during manufacturing. Creating and using digital standards is one way to combat these errors. They can be used to accurately specify and communicate color, design layouts, and formulate colorants and raw materials. Digital standards give brand owners peace of mind that the color t...

Posted June 09, 2017 by Tim Mouw

Did you read our blog: Are You Using The Right Tolerancing Method? If not, check it out. Today we’re taking the topic one step further to investigate how tolerances are chosen in different industries. A pass-fail tolerance is the amount of color variation that is considered commercially acceptable. In part, tolerances are driven by customer expectations. While color tolerances are very tight in the automotive, plastics, and paint & coatings worlds, they can be much less strict in other...

Posted May 02, 2017 by Mike Huda
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