The Munsell color system is one system that specifies colors based on three color dimensions, hue, value, and chroma (difference from gray in a given hue and lightness).
Professor Albert H. Munsell, an artist, wanted to create a “rational way to describe color” in line with the principle of “perceived equidistance”, and that would use decimal notation as opposed to color names (that he felt were “foolish” and “misleading”). He first started focus on the system in 1898 and published it completely form in Color Notation in 1905. The munsell soil color chart remains used today.
Munsell constructed his system around a circle with ten segments, arranging its colors at equal distances and selecting them in such a way that opposing pairs would bring about an achromatic mixture.
The program contains an irregular cylinder with all the value axis (light/dark) running down and up through it, along with the axis of the earth.
Dark colors are in the bottom of the tree and light on the top, measured from 1 (dark) to 10 (light).
Each horizontal “slice” of your cylinder across the axis can be a hue circle, which he split into five principal hues: red, yellow, green, blue, and purple, five intermediates, yellow-red, green-yellow, blue-green, purple-blue, and red-purple.
Munsell hue is specified by selecting one of those ten hues, then discussing the angle inside them from 1 to 10.
“Chroma” was measured out of the center in the wheel, with lower chroma being less saturated (washed out, like pastels). Keep in mind that there is absolutely no intrinsic upper limit to chroma. Different regions of the color space have different maximal chroma coordinates. For example light yellow colors have significantly more potential chroma than light purples, as a result of nature of your eye and the physics of color stimuli. This led to a variety of possible chroma levels, as well as a chroma of 10 might or might not be maximal based on the hue and value.
One is fully specified by 85dexupky three of the numbers. For instance a rather saturated blue of medium lightness can be 5B 5/10 with 5B meaning the hue in the midst of the blue hue band, 5/ meaning medium lightness, and a chroma of 10.
The first embodiment of the system (the 1905 Atlas) had some deficiencies being a physical representation from the theoretical system. They were improved significantly in the 1929 Munsell Book of Color and through a thorough combination of experiments performed by the Optical Society of America in the 1940’s contributing to the notations (sample definitions) to the modern Munsell Book of Color. The device remains to be commonly used in a number of applications and represents among the finest available data sets in the perceptual scaling of lightness, chroma and hue.
Advantages: A relatively simple system for comparing colors of objects by assigning them a collection of numbers based on standard samples. Commonly used in practical applications like painting and textiles.
Disadvantages: Complementary colors will not be on opposite sides, in order that one cannot predict the results of color mixing well.