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What is the FOCA Seminar?

January 17, 2016 by Tim Mouw

The Fundamentals of Color and Appearance – FOCA for short – is a very popular one-day seminar for anyone who deals with color. From the best way to communicate color so everyone is speaking the same language, to tips for judging the smallest color differences, you’ll learn everything you need to know to measure, view, and understand color data in any industry.

Whether you’re dealing with plastics, textiles or paints, or using dyes, inks or other colorants, the basics of color are very similar. But in color science, the basics aren’t always very easy to understand. FOCA brings all of the complicated scientific terms and color management processes into everyday language you can actually understand and use.

FOCA trainers are industry leaders who have accumulated years of hands-on practical experience and expertise in their respective fields. You may also recognize them as contributing authors for our blog.

CIELAB Exercise Chips

CIELAB Exercise Chips

Today we’ll share some of what you’ll learn if you’re lucky enough to attend one of our nationwide seminars.


1. How to speak the language of color.

You see color…. feel color… experience color every day. Robin’s egg blue. Fire engine red. Lime green. Most of us describe color by developing a mental picture and choosing words to describe it. But how often does this description create the same mental picture for someone else?

Communicating color can be very subjective, and subjectivity isn’t good when color has to be exact. FOCA teaches how to communicate color by number, so there’s no question among brand owners, suppliers, manufacturers, and approvers about what is expected.

2. Do we all perceive color the same way?

Of course not. In normal everyday life, it doesn’t usually matter if you see the same Rose Quartz that I see. But if you work in an industry where precise color control is essential, it does matter. You need to be aware of the physical and environmental intricacies that impact how you perceive color, and how to overcome them.


The Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue Test

FOCA incorporates hands-on exercises and optical illusions that will make you question everything you thought you knew about your vision. Once you’re aware, you can make smarter choices when viewing and evaluating color.

3. Light is more than illumination. It’s color.

Most people think of light as something that allows us to see in the dark. But those of us who work in the color industry know it’s much more than that. Light is energy, and it is the color of the light that determines the color we perceive.

FOCA covers everything from the interaction between light, object, and observer, to how to evaluate color under the best light source for your application.

4. How did we get to where we are today?

From the work of artists and color scientists, like Albert Munsell, who gave us the Munsell Color Space… Guild and Wright, who created a model for human visual response… David MacAdam who proved that human vision is non-linear… Richard Hunter, the first person to develop an acceptable near-uniform color space… and the CIE who adapted Hunter’s L*a*b* to better match human vision… just to mention a few.

We feel it’s important to understand the history of color to fully understand why and how we do things the way we do today.

5. Tolerancing

From all of this tireless work came a variety of color models and a number of tolerancing methods. This causes a LOT of confusion in the color industry. L*a*b*. L*C*h°. CMC. CIELAB. CIE94. DE94. DE2000. CIE2000. Which do you use? Is your client using the same one?

FOCA will help you understand all of these models, when to use them, and which tolerancing method works best for each.

Munsell Color Tolerance Set

Munsell Color Tolerance Set

6. Modern Instrumentation
Do you need a single angle 45°/0° spectrophotometer, or will a colorimeter meet your needs? What’s the difference between a sphere and a multi-angle device? FOCA will walk you through all of the options so you can choose the best device for your needs. You’ll also learn what to watch for when using color measurement devices, such as metamerism, gonioappearance, and optical brightening agents. 

We give away a lot of stuff, too.

  • Our awesome FOCA book, full of a ton of valuable information. It’s a great reference for when you get back to work and can’t remember exactly what the instructor said. You can use it to take notes during the class, too.
FOCA Workbook

FOCA Workbook

  • A Free Munsell Interactive Learning Kit with samples and exercises to help you learn more about the complexities of color and how it’s represented, evaluated, and controlled.
  • A raffle ticket into our FOCA sweepstakes with a chance to win your choice of the new Judge QC light booth, Munsell Hue Test, or a copy of software (ColorMaster QA II, Color iQC Professional, or X-Color QC) worth up to $3,200!
  • A voucher toward a future X-Rite purchase. Check out the details when you register.

Knowledge is priceless…

… especially when it saves you money. Check out our upcoming seminar schedule to find a FOCA class close to you.

FOCA can also be combined with a second day of FIQC – the Fundamentals of Instrumentation and Quality Control. This hands-on color quality control workshop will teach you how to create color standards, develop appropriate tolerances, measure samples against your target colors, and analyze the results.


Haben Sie Fragen? Wünschen Sie ein Angebot? Kontakt(888) 800-9580