standard colors

Peter Rauch anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU
Sat Jul 26 18:31:53 CDT 1997

> I would like to know why we cannot put the atlas of colors on
> Internet, where on the side will be some scale to adjust monitor.

There's been lots suggested about color charts/systems, but little
about the crux of the matter --standards.

Without the matter of what the purpose(s) of color charts is (yeah,
we all sort of know what they're used for in natural history),
there's little basis for taking suggestions about what color system
or surrogates might be useful and which won't be.

Some of the issues raised do imply some notion of standards, e.g.,
durability (over decades and centuries), universal nomenclature
(color names/codes/numbers), sufficient numbers of
colors/tones/shades to be useful, availability of
reliably-reproduced copies at affordable prices, etc.

On the other hand, I don't recall any suggestions, for example, that
the colors ought to be used under "standard" lighting conditions,
e.g., so that a specimen and a color chip which appear to be the
same RED in one light source, are not to be viewed in another light
source that causes them to appear to be different shades of RED.
Trying to create surrogate color reference sets, e.g., Fuller Paint
chips, could be an exhaustingly tedious process (you reference a
paint chip to a "standard" such as Munsell under one light, but it
appears to be a different color under another light than does the
same Munsell chip --this would turn out to be a combinatorial
problem of matching chips to standards that no one would find time

There are many other considerations which should be specified before
accepting a recommendation for a color reference source.

As for using computerized color "standards", forget it for now. The
technology doesn't come close to providing readily-accessible,
cheap, consistently reproducible color.

Anyone have some citations to adequate discussions about color
standards as they relate to natural history, and which describe the
technical issues involved in establishing a reliable/useful

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