The Munsell color system is one system that specifies colors according to three color dimensions, hue, value, and chroma (difference from gray at the given hue and lightness).
Professor Albert H. Munsell, an artist, wanted to make a “rational way to describe color” in accordance with the principle of “perceived equidistance”, and therefore would use decimal notation as an alternative to color names (which he felt were “foolish” and “misleading”). He first started work on the device in 1898 and published it 100 % form in Color Notation in 1905. The munsell soil color chart continues to be used today.
Munsell constructed his system around a circle with ten segments, arranging its colors at equal distances and selecting them in a manner that opposing pairs would lead to an achromatic mixture.
The device consists of an irregular cylinder using the value axis (light/dark) running down and up through it, as does the axis in the earth.
Dark colors are at the end from the tree and lightweight on the top, measured from 1 (dark) to 10 (light).
Each horizontal “slice” of the cylinder over the axis can be a hue circle, which he split up 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, and after that making reference to the angle inside them from 1 to 10.
“Chroma” was measured out from the center in the wheel, with lower chroma being less saturated (washed out, like pastels). Keep in mind that there is no intrinsic upper limit to chroma. Different parts of the color space have different maximal chroma coordinates. As an example light yellow colors have considerably more potential chroma than light purples, because of the nature of your eye and the physics of color stimuli. This triggered a wide range of possible chroma levels, and a chroma of 10 may or may not be maximal dependant upon the hue and value.
One is fully specified by 85dexupky three of the numbers. For example a rather saturated blue of medium lightness will be 5B 5/10 with 5B meaning the colour during the blue hue band, 5/ meaning medium lightness, plus a chroma of 10.
The original embodiment of the system (the 1905 Atlas) had some deficiencies like a physical representation in the theoretical system. They were improved significantly inside the 1929 Munsell Book of Color and thru an extensive series of experiments performed by the Optical Society of America within the 1940’s causing the notations (sample definitions) for the modern Munsell Book of Color. The system is still commonly used in a variety of applications and represents among the best available data sets on 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 according to standard samples. Traditionally used in practical applications such as painting and textiles.
Disadvantages: Complementary colors usually are not on opposite sides, so that one cannot predict the outcome of color mixing adequately.