Just as language has syntax and music its own note system, colour has its own distinct structure that forms the notation vocabulary of NCS.
A notation represents a specific colour percept out of the millions of surface colours that we can see and describes the colour visually. It is not depending on limitations caused by pigments, light rays or nerve signals that have given rise to this perception. An NCS Notation is constructed using three properties that visually describe a colour; hue and nuance (blackness and chromaticness).
Hue is how similar the colour is to the elementary colours yellow, red, blue and green in the NCS Colour Circle.
Nuance is determined by the blackness and chromaticness of a colour. Blackness is how dark the colour is and chromaticness is how chromatically strong the colour is, which is represented in the NCS Colour Triangle. Each hue in the colour circle holds a colour triangle. The below illustrates the nuances within the hue Y10R.
An example: S 1070-Y10R
NCS Notation S 1070-Y10R describes a colour that is included in the standard collection (S) and lies in between the yellow (Y) and red (R) colour span with:
- 10% perceived red (the remaining 90% going towards yellow)
- 10% perceived Blackness
- 70% perceived Chromaticness
This means the colour looks like a quite strong yellow.