Munsell Color System; Color Matching from Munsell Color Company > About Munsell Color

About Munsell Color

Munsell Color continues the legacy of Albert H. Munsell and his dedication to helping people communicate color easily and accurately. Our aim is to provide you with effective color tools, tips, and techniques based on Munsell color theory. We’re your resource for transforming Munsell color theory into action – whether you’re designing palettes, producing products or conducting color-based analysis.


The fundamentals of color are based on Albert H. Munsell’s theory of color

The way you visually match color today is the result of Albert H. Munsell’s work nearly a century ago. In fact, modern day color theory and mathematical color system is based on Munsell’s theory of color. For years, scientists had studied the mechanics of color going as far back as Newton’s early color wheel. But not until A.H. Munsell had anyone combined the art and science of color into a single color theory. His groundbreaking work laid the foundation for today’s computerized color matching systems and enabled a greater understanding of color principles for generations to come. An artist and an educator, Munsell developed his color theory to bring clarity to color communication by establishing an orderly system for accurately identifying every color that exists. Munsell based his system on what he defined as “perceived equidistance” — the human visual system’s perception of color.


Your color is our business

We help you communicate and reproduce color consistently with color standards developed using Munsell color theory. Produced to the exacting color accuracy that Munsell himself insisted upon, Munsell color standards provide a visual representation of the color you have in mind. With a tangible color at hand you can more effectively communicate and evaluate color. Whether you’re in government, business or academia, Munsell color theory and standards serve as a reference for a wide variety of uses including color branding; classifying soils, rocks and artifacts; grading produce; specifying color based on government standards; learning how color works; and more. Choose a standard color from the Munsell books of color and color sheets or have us develop a custom color management solution for you—giving you freedom to design your own unique color instead of being forced to choose a predetermined color from a fandeck. Visit the links below to learn more about how Munsell developed his color theory and publications referencing the Munsell system along with real-world examples of Munsell color theory in action and a history of the company. Or join the color conversation on the Munsell Color Blog.

Why Munsell?

The Munsell Color system brings reliability, flexibility and a logical simplicity, to visual color matching and color identification. Color can be an asset or a liability to your business.  When managed effectively, color can drive business. Your Color is Our … Continue reading

Munsell Published Work, Publication, Books & Articles

Published Work

Learn about the Munsell Color Company’s early beginnings in the late 1800’s, how Munsell’s Color Theory gained international acclaim, why Munsell’s son moved the company from Boston to Baltimore and more… Continue reading

Munsell Color Project Stories

See Munsell Color Theory in action with real-world case studies. Learn how Munsell fundamentals of color have helped preserve historic relics, conduct forensic testing, ensure bountiful harvests and more… Continue reading

A portrait of color scientist and educator Albert Munsell

Munsell Color Company History

Munsell Color includes the original Munsell Color Company that Albert H. Munsell started nearly a century ago. The company was founded for academia, but evolved to produce color standards for government and influence the development of modern color theory and measurement. Today, Munsell continues to develop and produce physical color standards for government and industry. Continue reading

The three attributes of color - hue, value and chroma make up the Munsell color notation or naming convention

How Color Notation Works

Here’s How Munsell Color Theory Works… Munsell color order system is based on a three-dimensional model depicted in the Munsell color tree. Each color has three qualities or attributes: Hue – color such as red, orange, yellow, etc. Value – … Continue reading