CIE – 1931-System

In the early 20th century, the wish for an objective method of determining colours became increasingly apparent. A colour-system was required without the need for samples. The CIE’s standard valency system («chromaticity diagram») is based on perceptual-physiological measurements and represents an internationally agreed method of colour identification based on the additive mixing of light. The flat, tongue-shaped structure contains colours («chromacities») occurring at mean brightness under a so-called standard light source. The colour zone is defined by two lines known as the «spectrum loci» and the purple line. (Detailed text)

Date: The so-called “Colour Standard Table” of the “Commission International d’Eclairage” has existed since 1931.

Country of origin: Commission Internationale d’Eclairage

Basic colours: Red, green and blue

Form: Diagram

Related systems: MaxwellHelmholtzMunsellOstwaldLuther & NybergCIE-RöschCIE-MacAdamDINColoroidC.I.E.L.A.B.

Bibliography: G. Wyszecki und W. S. Stiles, «Color Science», New York 1967; D. B. Judd und G. Wyszecki, «Color in Business, Science, and Industry», New York 1975; G. A. Agoston, «Color Theory and Its Application in Art and Design», Heidelberg 1979.