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The Munsell system is a way to describe colours, using three different parameters: hue, value and chroma.

Hue. This is the quality which defines colour, based on the colour circle divided in 10 different hues: five principal and five intermediate hues. Each hue is then divided into 10 divisions, in which number 5 is the pure hue and the low and high numbers implying a colour close to the adjacent colour in the colour circle.

Value. The value of a colour describes the lightness or darkness of a given colour: lower values are the darker colours and the higher ones contain more white. The scale ranges from 0 (black) to 10 (white).

Chroma. The chroma of a given object tells us to what extend a colour is greyed out. A low number represents a colour containing a lot of grey, and higher numbers a more pure colour. There is no maximum set on the chroma-scale, as different colours reach their brightest intensity at different levels (e.g. the maximum chroma for blue is 12). Example: The numbers of the three parameters combined describe the overall colour of an object. This is notated in the following format: hue value/chroma, i.e. 5.0Y 5/6 =
5.0Y = a pure yellow
5/ = In the middle of the grey scale
/6 = a yellow that still contains a lot of grey, as the chroma-scale for yellow is up to about 14.
The general description of this "5.0Y 5/6" is a darker, greyed out yellow, which more looks like a light brown.


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