You can stop struggling trying to figure out how to describe a color – is it pink? Green? Blue? Purple?

Feels good doesn’t it?

Relief from the frustrating visual gymnastics you’ve experienced comes in the form of a simple, easy Hue Family notation.

Hue family notations can be traced back to spectral data/color data values – it’s like a color’s DNA.

When we have objective hue family notations, we can plot colors on The Color Strategist Color Wheel using classic color theories you already know and understand.

The Color Strategist Color Wheel literally draws a picture for us of what colors go together so we can see how colors compare in terms of hue family and overtones.

Overtone means a color could have a hue bias towards a neighboring hue family; either clockwise or counterclockwise on the color wheel.

I teach you all about how that works in easy-to-follow, step-by-step Lessons in my online course called The Four Pillars of Color course.

In the mean time, here’s more information about my color wheel.

The Color Strategist Color Wheel

Color Managed | Laminated

Pantone Lighting Indicator | Neutral Gray Workmat

The Color Strategist Color Wheel

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CSCW (Color Strategist Color Wheel)

  • Hue family is determined by the dominant wavelength of a color
  • Hue family notations tell you how colors appear under a controlled illuminant called D65
  • D65 is an illuminant that replicates indirect daylight around noon
  • If your target color looks different from its hue family designation, then you know the light source you’re viewing the color under isn’t balanced. And you need to proceed accordingly, like try a different color strategy.

OVERVIEW OF THE CSCW

• Degrees on outside of color wheel = h from CIE LCh (ab)

• There are 10 Hue Families on the inside of the color wheel:

R = Red, YR = Yellow-Red, Y = Yellow, GY = Green-Yellow, G = Green,

BG = Blue-Green, B = Blue, PB = Purple-Blue, P = Purple, RP = Red-Purple

• Each Hue Family Sector is broken down into 10 units:

Example: 1R, 2R, 3R, 4R, 5R, 6R, 7R, 8R, 9R, 10R

HOW TO USE HUE FAMILIES

The number 5 in each hue family marks the point where the highest concentration of the respective hue parent is perceived. That’s why all the 5s are marked with a big dot (purchased version only).

The Color Strategist Color Wheel

All colors – including the colors we like to call neutral, white, grays, blacks – are defined by how much of the hue parent can be perceived.

Let’s use 5Y as an example. 5Y is at 90°.

As you move counter clockwise from 5Y towards the yellow-red hue family, the amount of perceivable yellowness lessens and yellow-red (orangeness) increases.

You can see the gradation of hue unit lines on the color wheel.

The hue family notation is so useful because it tells you the proportion of hue parent that is discernible in a color AND also the proportion of overtone or hue bias from the neighboring hue family.

Important to note – the notations are based on a D65 Illuminant which mimics a relatively balanced quality of light. The quality of light in your space may vary.

WARM AND COOL DESIGNATIONS INFO

Read this blog post, “Disrupting What You Think You Know About Warm and Cool Colors”

COLOR HARMONY

Use The Color Strategist Color Wheel to figure out what colors go together based on classic color relationships.

Munsell 3 dimensional color space
Don’t forget! A color wheel includes all colors – whites, grays, neutrals – all of them. The “wheel” part that you see is just ONE SLICE from the middle of a 3-dimensional color space where all the other colors live.Munsell Hue Family Color Harmony Analogous

Munsell Hue Family Color Harmony Complementary

Munsell Hue Family Color Harmony Split Complementary

Munsell Hue Family Color Harmony Double Complementary

Munsell Hue Family Color Harmony Diads

Munsell Hue Family Color Harmony Triad

Munsell Hue Family Color Harmony Tetrad

Monochromatic

A Monochrome color scheme is where all colors are derived from the same hue family as your starting color. Hue and Value does not change. Only chroma changes from vivid to dull. You could say a Monochromatic color scheme is a vivid to dull or clean to dirty gradation of color.

Munsell Hue Family Color Harmony Monochromatic

The Color Strategist Color Wheel

Download Version

Color Strategist Color Wheel Free Download Version

Color Pro or Color Enthusiast – Want to take your color knowledge to the next level?

In Camp Chroma, you will learn how to use this color wheel and so much more. For example:

  • Accurately Identify a Color’s Hue Family within Seconds
  • Fearlessly Use Hue Family to Create Color Schemes – Including Whites and Near Neutrals
  • Proficiently Manage the Effects of Light on Color – Strategies for Color Shift – Special Bonuses Included
  • Skillfully Combine Different Colors of White
  • Creatively Make Unfortunate Color Choices Less Noticeable
  • Expertly Fine Tune Color – Use The Four Pillars of Color to Find the Colors You Want – FAST
  • Confidently Conduct Virtual Color Consultations

You Don’t Want to Miss Out! Sign Up for Camp Chroma Alerts.