About Lingua Colour

Since the 1960s, colour selection and identification in the graphic arts and other design professions has been dominated by the Pantone Matching System (PMS). While this privately-owned system served us well in the years prior to digital ‘desktop’ publishing it is no longer ideal for several key reasons. Lingua Colour is a new, open system that better serves the needs of creative professionals and educators working across both digital and ‘real-world’ physical media.

Introduction

In the English-speaking world, and in many countries beyond, colour dialogue in the graphic arts and design professions continues to be dominated by the Pantone Matching System. While this privately-owned, proprietary system was effective in the years prior to digital ‘desktop’ publishing it is no longer ideal for several key reasons.

Firstly, it was designed at a time when pre-mixed ‘spot’ colours were a popular form of printing, whereas today, most printing is done on either four-colour, offset lithography systems or on short-run, digital printers based on inkjet, laser or dye-sublimation technology. And of course, we’re now in a world where the vast majority of information is not printed at all but is delivered to monitors and devices held in our hands, on our laps, or on our dashboards.

We propose a new system which is better suited to today’s world of screens, devices and mixed printing systems which are largely opaque to most users. A system which is open, educational, affordable and flexible for use across any number of creative domains.

Colour Systems and Models

A colour system is a framework for classifying, defining and matching colours[i]. This as opposed to a colour model which I’ll define as a more theoretical construction, seeking to place colours within a two or (usually) three-dimensional space based either on the psychophysical or the perceptual values of light and colour, or both. While there’s little clarity to be found in general literature[ii], here I assume a colour system is a tangible framework of practical use in either commercial, academic or artistic domains, based on one or more colour models.

A successful colour system is critical to understanding how colour functions in both an artistic and scientific sense. It allows us to define a mathematical colour space with which we can predict consistent colour outcomes when moving from a visualised colour quale[iii], to a digital representation on-screen, and then on to a physical manifestation of that colour in illumination or paint or ink or printed material.

While those are general ideals, I propose that a successful colour system should:

  1. Function as an educational tool in understanding the nature and practical use of colour.
  2. Allow for a common vocabulary of colours.
  3. Be sophisticated and comprehensive enough for professional use while remaining simple and accessible enough for general understanding.
  4. Simplify the process of colour management[iv] from concept (idea) to additive (illuminated) space through to subtractive (printed or painted) space.
  5. Allow for the creation of colour harmonies and colour themes suitable for creative, commercial and industrial use.
  6. Remain in the public domain such that anyone can adopt or adapt the system for their needs[v].

The Pantone Colour Matching System

Given the objectives I have listed above, the Pantone system is only part of a colour system[vi] by this working definition. But that is not to suggest it has been unsuccessful – quite the contrary. Pantone have been extremely effective in dominating public discourse in the graphic arts and beyond. Indeed, their ubiquity extends to the use of their color terms for everything from national flags[vii] to safety signs and the vast majority of style guides of corporate, public and private enterprises and institutions world-wide.

Despite this, I would argue that the Pantone system is no longer fit for purpose. Admittedly Pantone have made some useful changes to their product range this past few years[viii] but the original Formula Guides were based on the idea of pre-mixed ink formulas or what we now call spot colours – something that few designers would knowingly use today[ix]. Today, almost all commercial printing is either fully digital[x] or performed on an offset lithographic press (generally for print runs over around 500 to 1000 copies).

When the Pantone system first emerged in the early 1960s[xi], computer-based design was still over 30 years away. Even when computers began to take their place in the graphic design industry, they were originally attached to monochrome screens and it was a long time before colour monitors offered any real colour acuity[xii]. It was not until the early 2000’s that good quality flat screens with a wide colour gamut began to take their place on desktop, and later laptop, computers. From that time, we have been able to calibrate our monitors to known standards with increasing accuracy and thus the process of colour management has become simpler.

Open standards

Parallel to the evolution of display technology and digital design, the computer industry evolved to become more inclusive and vastly more interconnected with the move towards cloud computing. The extraordinary success of the Internet can at least in part be attributed to open standards such as TCP/IP, HTML and CSS[xiii]. And while Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and Sony et al. may continue to dominate manufacturing and the supply of hardware and operating systems, the open-source software movement gave us Linux, Apache, SQL and WordPress[xiv] – which remain firmly in the public domain.

The use of open standards is a valued tenet of modern computing[xv], without which a great deal of what is taken for granted on the Internet would not be possible. The same could be said for our system of notation in Western music. The 12-note chromatic scale, and the system of staff notation prevalent in modern music is, of course, open to be used by anyone without payment of royalties or fees.

I suggest that a similar principal should be applied to a colour system. That is, our understanding and practical use of colour would be enhanced by the adoption of an open source model akin to the GNU software manifesto (‘The GNU Project’, 2020) rather than a system that is held in private hands. The experience of colour is, after all, a universal human phenomenon.

Colour vocabulary

The 1969 publication of Paul Kay and Brent Berlin’s well-known survey of Basic Color Terms along with later work (Kay et al., 2011) revealed fascinating linguistic consistencies across language boundaries but of course, a great many cultural differences remain. And besides, everyday terminology (dark green, light blue etc) is far too imprecise to be of use in design professions at even the most informal level.

The success of the Pantone system can at least in part be attributed to its normalisation (if not standardisation) of colour terminology. The Munsell and Natural Colour systems also offer a colour vocabulary of sorts, but without the wide availability of the accompanying swatches (Formula Guides as Pantone calls them), there is little to encourage their adoption – beyond colour researchers and educators.

The PMS colours, however, are proprietary. Of course, it is the colour matching system and the corresponding colour terms that are under copyright, not the colours themselves, but to the average user, the distinction is philosophical, if not pedantic. And besides, the implementation of the Pantone colours in design software such as Adobe InDesign and Illustrator tends to occlude that distinction, if unintentionally.

Current Standards and Conventions

The Commission internationale de l’éclairage (CIE)

In the 1920’s, the CIE or International Commission on Illumination was formed to create a standard framework for the scientific measurement and classification of colours, independent of context or devices. In 1931 they developed an enduring, if complex, three-dimensional colour space which would come to define the science of colorimetry as we know it today[xvi].  The two-dimensional version of this space (below) can be seen reproduced in many texts and websites about colour, often with the gamut or practical colour range of devices such as printers and monitors superimposed, or, as in this case, the locus of spectral colours expressed in temperature (in degrees Kelvin).

The ubiquitous CIE 1931 Chromaticity Diagram with the black body (Planckian) locus of spectral colours expressed in ºKelvin.

It is fair to say that the CIE colour horseshoe (as it is sometimes called for obvious reasons) is beyond the understanding, or at least the patience, of many artists and design professionals. Indeed, before undertaking my own research into the field I would certainly count myself among them – finding its apparently undefined axes confusing, if not intimidating. Fortunately, an understanding of the CIE XYZ space that the diagram describes is not normally required by designers. It is required by engineers and colour scientists in order to model colour mathematically and scientifically but it is of little use to creatives.

While few creative practitioners are thus likely to refer to this diagram, this idealised colour space and its implied ‘standard observer’ is critical to understanding how colour is managed between devices and spaces. A successful colour system should help users understand the science of colourimetry.

Colour Management

The process of converting or transmuting colours from the additive RGB colour space to that of the subtractive CMYK space is colloquially knowns as colour management (Fraser et al., 2003). That is, the management of coloured images and objects from the observed phenomenon on the screen to its manifest equivalent on a passive surface such as paper or canvas. My experience as both a practicing designer and photographer, and a teacher of design software, bears witness to how difficult and challenging this process can be. In short: most designers just don’t get it.

Part of the reason for the confusion lies at the feet of Adobe and other software vendors. Adobe have dominated the graphic design software space since John Warnock and Charles Geschke created the company on the back of their PostScript technology in the early 1980’s (‘Adobe Inc.’, 2020). While simpler, more contemporary challengers are emerging, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign continue to be the tools of choice for professional graphic designers worldwide[xvii].

Adobe have their own colour management engine built into their applications (the Adobe Color Management Module) which does the heavy lifting of mapping RGB colours to the device-independent CIE XYZ space, then out again to CMYK, but the system still remains opaque for all but the most technical users. InDesign, for example, asks users to make choices that few designers would be qualified to make when taking the crucial step of building a print-ready PDF file. What is meant by a destination profile for example? And what type of colour conversion should be implemented if any?

Clearly a simpler, more transparent system is required that makes these crucial decisions easier to make for naïve users while preserving choices that more informed users may need. The Pantone system offers little real assistance in this matter.[xviii] A successful system should provide guidance within the software that designers use. This could, for example, take the form of plugins or extensions to the Creative Cloud applications as a complement to a physical card system.[xix]

The International Color Consortium (ICC)

The ICC is a quasi-standards body set up for the purpose of ‘creating, promoting and encouraging the standardization and evolution of an open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management system architecture and components.’ (About ICC, n.d.).[xx] The founding members were Adobe, Agfa, Apple, Kodak and Microsoft but regular members and contributors include most of the well-known names in manufacturing, printing, devices and software such as X-Rite (Pantone), Ricoh, Océ, Fuji, Xerox, HP, Nikon, Canon, Epson, Datacolor, FOGRA etc.

The monitor on your computer or laptop will have an ICC profile installed, even if you are not aware are of it. Likewise, your printer or printing service, your camera, your phone, and your scanner (if you still own one!). This was a big step forward in co-operation between interested parties and to the best of my knowledge has been a success. But the function of ICC profiles is strictly behind-the-scenes and few people outside of professional design, manufacturing or photography would be aware of the key role they play in ensuring colour fidelity across devices and materials.

Colour Systems in History

Historically there have been many scientists, artists and teachers whose work has led to the development of colour models of one kind or another. We could start with Aristotle, Plato, Da Vinci, Descartes and Pythagoras (the latter for his understanding of the mathematical harmony of the natural world, Aristotle for one of the very first colour models) but for the foundational principles of modern colour theory we normally credit Isaac Newton with, if not discovering, then certainly documenting the apparent components of the visible spectrum (as we call it now, but not then) through his famous prism experiment (Newton, 1730).

But Newton’s ideas were flawed in some critical areas – the idea that we ‘see’ colours by virtue of their wavelength alone for example, and perhaps ironically[xxi], the notion that light moved in corpuscular (particulate) form rather than as wave-like radiation. It was from the German philosopher and poet, Johann Goethe (Goethe, 1840), who famously rebutted Newton’s ideas, and later from his colleague Arthur Schopenhauer (b. 1788) that we have, arguably, a better understanding of colour phenomenology. It was Goethe’s symmetrical colour wheel that anticipated Ewald Hering’s insightful opponent colour theory of 1872, and the subsequent Natural Colour System (Koenderink, 2010).

The German painter, Philipp Otto Runge gave us one of the first colour models in spherical form in his Farben-Kugel or Colour Ball (Runge, 1810). There would doubtless be more from him but he died at just 33 leaving his work to be overshadowed by the French chemist, Michel Chevreul and his hemispherical colour system (Chevreul, 1823). Chevreul’s observations working with dyes and colourants led to our understanding of simultaneous contrast and eventually, arguably, to the ideas behind Impressionism and Cubism.

From left to right: Runge’s Farbenkugel (color sphere, 1810), Chevruel’s Chromatic Circle (1839), Ostwald’s Colour Primer (1916) and a modern rendition of the Munsell Colour Tree (1915) showing its irregular dimensions.

But it’s not until the end of the 19th century that colour systems as such began to emerge with the development of photography and modernist painting. Scottish mathematician, James Maxwell gave us the very first demonstration of colour photography in 1861 (Dhaliwal, 2013) and Latvian Nobel Prize winner, Wilhelm Ostwald (b. 1853) gave us a working three-dimensional colour model, albeit less known than the commercially successful work of the Americans that was to follow (Ostwald, 1917).

Some twenty years before Edwin Land was to announce his ground-breaking Polaroid Camera system (Bonanos, 2012), Bostonian painter and art teacher, Alfred Munsell (b. 1858) revealed his highly influential notation system and eponymous colour atlas around 1905 (Munsell, 1916). Munsell’s system was critical to the development of modern colour science as it (eventually) presented with great clarity the asymmetry of perception across the hue spectrum. That is, whereas prior (and many subsequent) models rendered the vectors of hue, value and chroma[xxii] as co-existing in a spherical, symmetrical plane, Munsell’s model recognised that the range of value or chroma varied across the hue spectrum[xxiii].

Itten’s 12-Part Farbkreis or Colour Circle (Itten, 1961) and a slice of the Swedish Natural Colour System (1969)

As interest in modern science, art and now photography grew, so did our understanding of colour. The 3-ish dimensional models of Swiss designer and teacher, Johannes Itten (b. 1888) was insightful but it was his colleague at the famous Bauhaus school in Weimar, Germany, Josef Albers (b. 1888) who is better known – at least among artists and art teachers. Albers left Germany for America after the Nazis closed the subversive Bauhaus school in 1933, eventually taking a position at Yale University in Connecticut. His 1963 book, Interaction of Colours (Albers, 1963) is still considered a foundational teaching aid for artists and designers to this day.

Current Systems

Today, the Munsell Colour System, the Swedish Natural Colour System (Hård & Sivik, 1981) and the successful Pantone System are the names that dominate colour in the visual and graphic arts but of these, it is only the Pantone system that has become a household name, at least in the English-speaking world. Pantone achieved dominance through their ubiquitous Pantone Matching System or PMS colour swatches which most designers and publishers would be familiar with as a means of choosing and specifying colours for use in print design and corporate communications.

The Munsell System is widely considered ‘accurate’ in terms of psychophysical colour phenomena but it is too technical and cumbersome for most graphic designers, publishers and visual artists to use. It remains a useful framework whose influence can be found in Adobe applications, but few creative practitioners would be familiar with it or own a copy of the printed book or colour atlas[xxiv].

The Swedish Natural Colour System (NCS) takes a slightly different approach to Munsell but it is no less rigorous. As with the Munsell system though, it is expensive and impractical to be of use as an every-day guide to colour management or colour selection. The NCS is used in many schools throughout Europe and is an effective educational tool but less effective as an everyday resource.

As discussed earlier in this paper, the Pantone system is the most obvious point of comparison to what is being suggested here. It is widely adopted throughout the graphic arts and design communities of the Western world but it was developed before computer-based design was a reality and when spot colour printing was the norm. While Pantone have taken steps to modernise their product, it remains focussed on pre-digital printing. Furthermore, Pantone guides are expensive and, in many ways, impractical for general use as noted above.

Other Systems

There are a number of other colour systems that are prevalent in specific domains or geographical areas. The German RAL system has a long history dating back to the early 20th century. They are well established in Germany and Europe but less-so in the English-speaking world, with the exception of architectural design, construction and signage where they remain well-known. Likewise, the German HKS system (from colour manufacturers Hostmann-Steinberg Druckfarben, Kast + Ehinger Druckfarben and H. Schmincke & Co) has been active since the late 1960s but more so in Germany than elsewhere.

Some less well-known initiatives in the graphic arts should also be acknowledged as they have their adherents and no-doubt some advantages, but they have gained (or at least retained) relatively little traction in recent decades. The TruMatch and FOCOLTONE colour systems, for example, date back to the 1990s and in both cases their related colour swatches continue to be shipped with Adobe InDesign and Illustrator although few designers seem aware of them, indeed, the company behind FOCOLTONE has been dissolved.

The large DIC Corporation in Japan has a spot colour ink range and associated colour system similar to Pantone but relatively unknown in the West. Likewise, Toyo Inks of Japan, the American Newspaper Publishers Association’s ANPA System and the Swiss Le Corbusier foundation, the latter have a range of colour matching products popular in Architectural design in Europe.

The German freieFarbe (Free Colour) foundation was established in 2016 by a coalition of German and Swiss colour professionals. They have several products including the CIELAB HLC Colour Atlas which can be downloaded free of charge from their website. Although not well known in the English-speaking world they have made a contribution to the move towards open, public-domain colour dialogue.

Industrial and Commercial Standards

Much of the current research into colour devices and display technology is in the commercial hands of tech giants such as Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, DELL, HP, Samsung, LG and Sony. Printing technology (laser, inkjet, dye-sublimation and offset) is dominated by HP, Canon, Epson, Brother, Agfa and Heidelberg among others. For any colour system to gain traction, it would need to avoid conflict with such powerful interests in favour of a co-operative stance while maintaining independence. Engaging the participation of the ICC and its members will thus be essential to success.

The new ICC specification, iccMAX, provides a platform for defining specific colour management workflows by way of a granular ‘Interoperability Conformance Specification (ICS) document’. This relatively open and modular approach lends itself to interaction with a colour system such as Lingua Colour and bodes well for an effective relationship.[xxv] Note that there are no Pantone-like products associated with iccMAX (or any prior specification) as such. Rather, the profiles provide the engineering-level interoperability needed for such a system to function.

X-Rite, which own Pantone, produce white papers and research documents based on their many years’ experience in the graphic arts. They also manufacture colourimeters and calibration tools such as the popular ColorMunki. Likewise, their competitor, Datacolor, who manufacture the Spyder calibration tools.

Introducing Lingua Colour

Lingua Colour is a project to develop a simple, effective colour system for the graphic arts and wider creative community.

Some of the characteristics of the new system could be (by way of example):

  • A standard set of colours expressed by simple naming convention with deference and reference to the existing systems indicated above.
  • A numeric value for each colour in terms of RGB, CMYK, CIE XYZ and LAB colour spaces.
  • A comprehensive set of cards or other physical objects organised by hue with variations in saturation and value.
  • A digital companion to allow colour selection within existing software, based on the same naming conventions.
  • The ability to create colour themes and combinations based on simple rules of harmony.

Recognising the success and public value of Internet technologies, the open-source software movement, the world wide web, and the notation of Western music, the colour names and their numeric equivalents should be in the public domain to be freely exchanged or downloaded.

Conclusion

This paper proposes a new colour system for the graphic arts and beyond. That system should exceed the capacity of existing systems and offer a new, standard colour vocabulary and an effective means of working with colour both on-screen and off.

The emphasis here has been on the graphic arts and related design professions but the system could scale to include related sectors such as the visual arts, video and motion graphics, games design, interior design, 3D printing and manufacturing, textile design and production, packing and retail presentation, and food and drink production.

Several prototypes are being developed which will reflect these objectives, these will be made available for feedback and discussion over the next two years.


[i]      There is no universal definition of ‘colour system’ that I’m aware of so for our purposes, this will suffice.

[ii]     The terms colour system and colour model are often used interchangeably, the distinction here is mine.

[iii]    A quale is the idea or quality or essence of a thing. In this case, I mean the conception of a colour idea such as redness, rather than its physical manifestation.

[iv]     I refer to the management of colour from screen to print or other real-world outcome. I elaborate on this later in the paper.

[v]      Placing the system in the public domain does not prevent the creation of an enterprise (either non-profit or commercial or both) or from extracting value from the associated intellectual property (IP). There are numerous examples to consider here in computing: WordPress (which maintains a commercial service in parallel with the open-source product); and Linux, the open-source operating system from which many commercial enterprises have sprung (Red Hat, Ubuntu and many others) are two that are well known. Similarly, there are many commercial music systems (Yamaha, Suzuki) which surround the public domain music notation system we all use.

[vi]     That is to say, it is a colour matching system. I’m not suggesting this is a limitation, merely that a successful colour system could include both a matching system and attributes of some of the other systems discussed here and further features that do not appear in existing systems at all.

[vii]    Many countries, although certainly not all, express their national colours or flag colours in terms of Pantone colours. The Australian flag, for example, is published as coated Pantone spot colours, even though spot colours are seldom used and do not correlate with those of fabric dyes or commonly printed materials.

[viii]   The Pantone Bridge Guides are a big step forward from the traditional Formula Guide. They include not only the spot-colour ink values of the Formula Guides but also the far more useful CMYK values, along with RGB approximations expressed in both RGB and 8-bit hexadecimal HTML codes.

[ix]    Spot colours are seldom used today except where corporate colour consistency is paramount. Designers often mistakenly choose a spot colour in their design software but such colours are normally ‘converted’ to CMYK when printed or ‘distilled’ to PDF.

[x]     By digital printing I mean any of the short-run laser, inkjet or dye-sublimation printing systems offered by vendors such as HP, Canon or Kodak.

[xi]    Lawrence Herbert, began working for the Pantone company when it was a small printing firm in the late 1950s. He created Pantone Inc. and the subsequent Pantone Matching System in the early 1960s.

[xii]   Higher-end cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors offered reasonable colour fidelity by the late 1990’s but it wasn’t until high-definition flat-screen technology became affordable in the mid 2000’s that real colour management became possible.

[xiii] The Transport Control and Internet Protocols (usually written as TCP/IP and often referred to as the Internet protocol suite) are the Internet enabling technologies which emerged from the efforts of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the late 1960s. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) along with the Hypertext Markup Language and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are the standards which underpin the World Wide Web.

[xiv]   Linux is the free operating system developed by Linus Torvald in 1991. Apache is free and open-source cross-platform web server software. WordPress is an open-source content management system based on PHP and mySQL software. SQL was originally developed by IBM in the 1970s but was adopted as an ANSI open standard in the 1980s.

[xv]    Strictly speaking, the term ‘open standard’ and the term ‘open source’ (as used with reference to computer software) are not equivalent but I won’t elaborate on the nuances here. Furthermore, the original GNU ‘free software’ project did not necessarily advocate free-of-charge distribution. Rather it was about freedom to use, analyse and distribute the code, rather than be locked away in a proprietary vault (‘The GNU Project’, 2020)

[xvi]   Jan Koenderink would not quite agree here. Most colour researchers give the CIE credit for formalising and, to some degree, standardising the chromaticity model we know of today but colourimetry has roots that extend back far further.

[xvii] My inclination is that the applications of Adobe’s Creative Cloud software suite are becoming unnecessarily expensive and complex for many users. They still dominate the professional desktop space for print designers with InDesign, Illustrator et al. although UK start-up Affinity are offering compelling desktop alternatives at a lower price, and the growing semi-professional market has many online alternatives such as Canva and Vectr. Motion graphics professionals have a little more choice – Adobe have Premiere Pro and the venerable After Effects but Apple’s Final Cut Pro and Davinci Resolve are popular alternatives for less outlay in a price-conscious market. Adobe is weaker again in the newer market for device dominated UX/UI design. Abobe have XD but that appears to have less market share then the cheaper Sketch or Figma, something I know from blogs and general usage.

[xviii] Pantone now have a service called Pantone Connect which offers Pantone colour selection and theme creation by way of a panel extension for Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. It’s a paid-for service and offers little that the existing colour tools within the Adobe CC don’t already provide. The current version (as of 2019) is buggy and unstable but no-doubt will improve over time.

[xix] Adobe applications have an open, plugin architecture which allows developers to build extensions to core functions which are in-turn distributed through their Adobe Exchange App Marketplace.

[xx]  The ICC profile format is designed to provide a cross-platform standard to ‘translate color data created on one device into another device’s native color space. The acceptance of this format by operating system vendors allows end users to transparently move profiles and images with embedded profiles between different operating systems. This permits tremendous flexibility to both users and vendors. For example, it allows users to be sure that their image will retain its color fidelity when moved between systems and applications. Furthermore, it allows a printer manufacturer to create a single profile for multiple operating systems’. (About ICC, n.d.)

[xxi] Ironic in the sense that most scientists now conclude that the quantum nature of light is such that we can observe behaviours consistent with both wave motion and particle (photon) behaviour. Quantum physics insists on this duality of thought, however confounding it may be.

[xxii] We take Munsell’s lead and define Hue as colour in the most colloquial sense (blue, green etc); chroma as colour saturation or purity or, technically, its distance from achromatic grey; and value (often called lightness or tone in the visual arts and brightness or tint in the graphic arts) as the amount of white in the colour, or as the distance from white in a 3-dimensional plane. Munsell is credited with making this distinction clear for the first time. Prior to his work, saturation in the visual arts (there was no other kind!) referred to both richness and lightness combined.

[xxiii] Munsell recognised that the human visual system is not consistent in its response to light stimuli: yellows and reds have greater visual range than blues for example. Many argue this is due to evolutionary survival: an orange tiger should be seen easily against a green background although the simplicity of this argument is not entirely convincing to me.

[xxiv] Colleagues who work in traditional painting and the visual arts have challenged me on this as certainly it is taught to visual artists in universities and colleges but it remains something of a niche compared to the wider creative community.

[xxv] iccMAX extends the functionality of the existing ICC v4 specification with a more flexible architecture intended for wide usage: ‘ICC color management meets the goal of creating, promoting and encouraging the standardization of an open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management system architecture and components. While the current architecture works well in many areas, new potential applications are emerging and it is believed that tomorrow’s color communication will require a more flexible and extensible system. Within ICC Labs, ICC has developed a new specification, iccMAX, that will address many of these new requirements’ (Introducing iccMAX, n.d.)