Munsell color system

In colorimetry, the Munsell color system is a color space that specifies colors based on three properties of color: hue, value (lightness), and chroma (color purity). It was created by Professor Albert H. Munsell in the first decade of the 20th century and adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as the official color system for soil research in the 1930s.

Several earlier color order systems had placed colors into a three-dimensional color solid of one form or another, but Munsell was the first to separate hue, value, and chroma into perceptually uniform and independent dimensions, and he was the first to illustrate the colors systematically in three-dimensional space.[1] Munsell's system, particularly the later renotations, is based on rigorous measurements of human subjects' visual responses to color, putting it on a firm experimental scientific basis. Because of this basis in human visual perception, Munsell's system has outlasted its contemporary color models, and though it has been superseded for some uses by models such as CIELAB (L*a*b*) and CIECAM02, it is still in wide use today.[2]

The Munsell color system, showing: a circle of hues at value 5 chroma 6; the neutral values from 0 to 10; and the chromas of purple-blue (5PB) at value 5.


Munsell color sphere
Munsell’s color sphere, 1900. Later, Munsell discovered that if hue, value, and chroma were to be kept perceptually uniform, achievable surface colors could not be forced into a regular shape.
Munsell 1943 color solid cylindrical coordinates
Three-dimensional representation of the 1943 Munsell renotations. Notice the irregularity of the shape when compared to Munsell's earlier color sphere, at left.

The system consists of three independent properties of color which can be represented cylindrically in three dimensions as an irregular color solid:

  • hue, measured by degrees around horizontal circles
  • chroma, measured radially outward from the neutral (gray) vertical axis
  • value, measured vertically on the core cylinder from 0 (black) to 10 (white)

Munsell determined the spacing of colors along these dimensions by taking measurements of human visual responses. In each dimension, Munsell colors are as close to perceptually uniform as he could make them, which makes the resulting shape quite irregular. As Munsell explains:

Desire to fit a chosen contour, such as the pyramid, cone, cylinder or cube, coupled with a lack of proper tests, has led to many distorted statements of color relations, and it becomes evident, when physical measurement of pigment values and chromas is studied, that no regular contour will serve.

— Albert H. Munsell, “A Pigment Color System and Notation”[3]


Each horizontal circle Munsell divided into five principal hues: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple, along with 5 intermediate hues (e.g., YR) halfway between adjacent principal hues.[4] Each of these 10 steps, with the named hue given number 5, is then broken into 10 sub-steps, so that 100 hues are given integer values. In practice, color charts conventionally specify 40 hues, in increments of 2.5, progressing as for example 10R to 2.5YR.

Two colors of equal value and chroma, on opposite sides of a hue circle, are complementary colors, and mix additively to the neutral gray of the same value. The diagram below shows 40 evenly spaced Munsell hues, with complements vertically aligned.

Munsell hues; value 6 / chroma 6
201 130 134
201 130 127
201 131 118
200 133 109
197 135 100
193 137 94
187 140 86
181 143 79
173 146 75
167 149 72
160 151 73
151 154 78
141 156 85
127 159 98
115 160 110
101 162 124
92 163 134
87 163 141
82 163 148
78 163 154
73 163 162
73 163 162
70 162 170
70 161 177
73 160 184
82 158 189
93 156 193
104 154 195
117 151 197
128 149 198
141 145 198
152 142 196
160 140 193
168 138 189
177 135 182
183 134 176
188 132 169
193 131 160
196 130 153
198 130 146
200 130 140
201 130 134


Value, or lightness, varies vertically along the color solid, from black (value 0) at the bottom, to white (value 10) at the top.[5] Neutral grays lie along the vertical axis between black and white.

Several color solids before Munsell's plotted luminosity from black on the bottom to white on the top, with a gray gradient between them, but these systems neglected to keep perceptual lightness constant across horizontal slices. Instead, they plotted fully saturated yellow (light), and fully saturated blue and purple (dark) along the equator.


Chroma, measured radially from the center of each slice, represents the “purity” of a color (related to saturation), with lower chroma being less pure (more washed out, as in pastels).[6] Note that there is no intrinsic upper limit to chroma. Different areas of the color space have different maximal chroma coordinates. For instance light yellow colors have considerably more potential chroma than light purples, due to the nature of the eye and the physics of color stimuli. This led to a wide range of possible chroma levels—up to the high 30s for some hue–value combinations (though it is difficult or impossible to make physical objects in colors of such high chromas, and they cannot be reproduced on current computer displays). Vivid solid colors are in the range of approximately 8.

Munsell value (vertical) and chroma (horizontal); hue 5Y and 5PB
12108642 0 24681012
255 255 255
228 228 250
232 232 232
243 227 207
250 227 178
190 201 239
200 200 222
203 203 203
215 200 181
221 200 154
227 200 126
233 199 97
237 199 63
142 176 241
154 175 225
164 175 210
173 174 195
179 179 179
188 173 155
194 173 128
200 173 101
205 172 72
210 172 29
79 150 244
101 150 227
116 149 213
128 149 198
138 148 182
146 148 168
150 150 150
161 147 129
167 147 103
173 146 75
178 146 42
46 124 214
72 123 199
89 123 185
101 123 171
111 122 156
120 122 142
124 124 124
134 121 103
141 121 77
146 120 48
150 119 9
38 97 172
59 97 158
74 97 144
85 96 130
93 96 116
97 97 97
108 96 77
114 95 52
119 94 25
26 72 133
45 72 120
58 72 106
67 72 92
70 70 70
81 71 55
87 70 33
20 49 93
35 49 79
44 49 66
48 48 48
57 48 34
63 47 6
1 5PB
13 28 56
23 28 45
28 28 28
37 27 9
0 0 0
Note that the Munsell Book of Color contains more color samples than this chart for both 5PB and 5Y (particularly bright yellows, up to 5Y 8.5/14). However, they are not reproducible in the sRGB color space, which has a limited color gamut designed to match that of televisions and computer displays. Note also that there are no samples for values 0 (pure black) and 10 (pure white), which are theoretical limits not reachable in pigment, and no printed samples of value 1.

Specifying a color

A color is fully specified by listing the three numbers for hue, value, and chroma in that order. For instance, a purple of medium lightness and fairly saturated would be 5P 5/10 with 5P meaning the color in the middle of the purple hue band, 5/ meaning medium value (lightness), and a chroma of 10 (see swatch).

History and influence

Runge Farbenkugel
Runge’s Farbenkugel (Color Sphere), 1810[a]
Professor Albert H. Munsell
Munsell Books
Several editions of the Munsell Book of Color. The atlas is arranged into removable pages of color swatches of varying value and chroma for each of 40 particular hues.

The idea of using a three-dimensional color solid to represent all colors was developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Several different shapes for such a solid were proposed, including: a double triangular pyramid by Tobias Mayer in 1758, a single triangular pyramid by Johann Heinrich Lambert in 1772, a sphere by Philipp Otto Runge in 1810, a hemisphere by Michel Eugène Chevreul in 1839, a cone by Hermann von Helmholtz in 1860, a tilted cube by William Benson in 1868, and a slanted double cone by August Kirschmann in 1895.[7] These systems became progressively more sophisticated, with Kirschmann’s even recognizing the difference in value between bright colors of different hues. But all of them remained either purely theoretical or encountered practical problems in accommodating all colors. Furthermore, none was based on any rigorous scientific measurement of human vision; before Munsell, the relationship between hue, value, and chroma was not understood.[7]

Albert Munsell, an artist and professor of art at the Massachusetts Normal Art School (now Massachusetts College of Art and Design, or MassArt), wanted to create a “rational way to describe color” that would use decimal notation instead of color names (which he felt were “foolish” and “misleading”),[8] which he could use to teach his students about color. He first started work on the system in 1898 and published it in full form in A Color Notation in 1905.

The original embodiment of the system (the 1905 Atlas) had some deficiencies as a physical representation of the theoretical system. These were improved significantly in the 1929 Munsell Book of Color and through an extensive series of experiments carried out by the Optical Society of America in the 1940s resulting in the notations (sample definitions) for the modern Munsell Book of Color. Though several replacements for the Munsell system have been invented, building on Munsell's foundational ideas—including the Optical Society of America's Uniform Color Scales, and the International Commission on Illumination’s CIELAB (L*a*b*) and CIECAM02 color models—the Munsell system is still widely used, by, among others, ANSI to define skin and hair colors for forensic pathology, the USGS for matching soil colors, in prosthodontics during the selection of shades for dental restorations, and breweries for matching beer colors.[9][10][b]

See also


  1. ^ There are mathematical issues with this depiction: If one calls the concentric rings "chroma" and the horizontal stripes "lightness", then it is not possible to have a color whose "chroma" is 2 (counting from the center outward) and "lightness" is 9 (counting from the bottom to the top). This means that each color cannot be uniquely identified by a single set of "hue", "lightness" and "chroma" values. Albert Munsell's color sphere was designed in such a way to avoid this pitfall, however.
  2. ^ Beer color is measured in Degrees Lovibond, a metric based on the Munsell system


  1. ^ Kuehni (2002), p. 21
  2. ^ Landa (2005), pp. 437–438,
  3. ^ Munsell (1912), p. 239
  4. ^ Cleland (1921), Ch. 1
  5. ^ Cleland (1921), Ch. 2
  6. ^ Cleland (1921), Ch. 3
  7. ^ a b Kuenhi (2002), pp. 20–21
  8. ^ (Munsell 1905), ch.1, pg. 7
  9. ^ MacEvoy (2005)
  10. ^ Landa (2005), pp. 442–443.


Twenty hues of the Munsell color system at maximum chroma to stay in the sRGB gamut.
  • Cleland, Thomas M. (1921). A practical description of the Munsell color system, with suggestions for its use. Boston: Munsell Color Company. One of the first books about the Munsell color system, explaining the intuition behind its three dimensions, and suggesting possible uses of the system in picking color combinations. An edited version can be found at
  • Kuehni, Rolf G. (February 2002). "The early development of the Munsell system". Color Research and Application. 27 (1): 20–27. doi:10.1002/col.10002. A description of color systems leading up to Munsell's, and a biographical explanation of Munsell's changing ideas about color and development of his color solid, leading up to the publication of A Color Notation in 1905.
  • Landa, Edward R.; Fairchild, Mark D. (September–October 2005). "Charting Color from the Eye of the Beholder" (PDF). American Scientist. 93 (5): 436–443. CiteSeerX doi:10.1511/2005.5.436. An introductory explanation of the development and influence of the Munsell system.
  • MacEvoy, Bruce (2005-08-01). "Modern Color Models – Munsell Color System". Color Vision. Retrieved 2007-04-16. A concise introduction to the Munsell color system, on a web page which also discusses several other color systems, putting the Munsell system in its historical context.
  • Munsell, Albert H. (1905). A Color Notation. Boston: G. H. Ellis Co. Munsell's original description of his system. A Color Notation was published before he had established the irregular shape of a perceptual color solid, so it describes colors positioned in a sphere.
  • Munsell, Albert H. (January 1912). "A Pigment Color System and Notation". The American Journal of Psychology. 23 (2): 236–244. doi:10.2307/1412843. JSTOR 1412843. Munsell's description of his color system, from a lecture to the American Psychological Association.
  • Nickerson, Dorothy (1976). "History of the Munsell color system, company, and foundation". Color Research and Application. 1 (1): 7–10.

External links

Albert Henry Munsell

Albert Henry Munsell (January 6, 1858 – June 28, 1918) was an American painter, teacher of art, and the inventor of the Munsell color system.

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, attended and served on the faculty of Massachusetts Normal Art School, and died in nearby Brookline.

As a painter, he was noted for seascapes and portraits.

Munsell is famous for inventing the Munsell color system, an early attempt at creating an accurate system for numerically describing colors. He wrote three books about it: A Color Notation (1905), Atlas of the Munsell Color System (1915) and one published posthumously, A Grammar of Color: Arrangements of Strathmore Papers in a Variety of Printed Color Combinations According to The Munsell Color System (1921). The Munsell color order system has gained international acceptance and has served as the foundation for many color order systems, including CIELAB. In 1917, he founded the Munsell Color Company.

CIELAB color space

The CIELAB color space (also known as CIE L*a*b* or sometimes abbreviated as simply "Lab" color space) is a color space defined by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) in 1976. It expresses color as three values: L* for the lightness from black (0) to white (100), a* from green (−) to red (+), and b* from blue (−) to yellow (+). CIELAB was designed so that the same amount of numerical change in these values corresponds to roughly the same amount of visually perceived change.

With respect to a given white point, the CIELAB model is device-independent—it defines colors independently of how they are created or displayed. The CIELAB color space is typically used when graphics for print have to be converted from RGB to CMYK, as the CIELAB gamut includes both the gamuts of the RGB and CMYK color models.

Because three parameters are measured, the space itself is a three-dimensional real number space, which allows for infinitely many possible colors. In practice, the space is usually mapped onto a three-dimensional integer space for digital representation, and thus the L*, a*, and b* values are usually absolute, with a pre-defined range. The lightness value, L*, represents the darkest black at L* = 0, and the brightest white at L* = 100. The color channels, a* and b*, represent true neutral gray values at a* = 0 and b* = 0. The a* axis represents the green–red component, with green in the negative direction and red in the positive direction. The b* axis represents the blue–yellow component, with blue in the negative direction and yellow in the positive direction. The scaling and limits of the a* and b* axes will depend on the specific implementation, as described below, but they often run in the range of ±100 or −128 to +127 (signed 8-bit integer).

The CIELAB color space was derived from the prior "master" CIE 1931 XYZ color space, which predicts which spectral power distributions will be perceived as the same color (see metamerism), but is not particularly perceptually uniform. Strongly influenced by the Munsell color system, the intention behind CIELAB was to create a space that can be computed via simple formulas from the CIEXYZ space but is more perceptually uniform than CIEXYZ. When storing color values using limited precision, using a perceptually uniform color space can improve the reproduction of tones.

CIELAB colors are defined relative to the white point of the CIEXYZ space from which they were converted; thus CIELAB values do not define absolute colors unless the white point is also specified. Often, in practice, the white point is assumed to follow a standard and is not explicitly stated (e.g., for "absolute colorimetric" rendering intent, the International Color Consortium L*a*b* values are relative to CIE standard illuminant D50, while they are relative to the unprinted substrate for other rendering intents).The lightness correlate in CIELAB is calculated using the cube root of the relative luminance.

Color model

A color model is an abstract mathematical model describing the way colors can be represented as tuples of numbers, typically as three or four values or color components. When this model is associated with a precise description of how the components are to be interpreted (viewing conditions, etc.), the resulting set of colors is called "color space." This section describes ways in which human color vision can be modeled.

Color term

A color term (or color name) is a word or phrase that refers to a specific color. The color term may refer to human perception of that color (which is affected by visual context) which is usually defined according to the Munsell color system, or to an underlying physical property (such as a specific wavelength of visible light). There are also numerical systems of color specification, referred to as color spaces.

An important distinction must be established between color and shape, these two attributes usually are used in conjunction with one another when describing in language. For example, being labeled as alternative parts of speech terms color term and shape term.Psychological conditions for recognition of colors exist, such as those who cannot discern colors in general (Aphantasia) or those who see colors as sound (Synesthesia)

Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test

The Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Color Vision test is a test of the human visual system often used to test for color blindness. The system was developed by Dean Farnsworth in the 1940s and it tests the ability to isolate and arrange minute differences in various color targets with constant value and chroma that cover all the visual hues described by the Munsell color system. There are several variations of the test, one featuring 100 color hues and one featuring 15 color hues. Originally taken in an analog environment with physical hue tiles, the test is now taken from computer consoles. An accurate quantification of color vision accuracy is particularly important to designers, photographers and colorists, who all rely on accurate color vision to produce quality content.

Fuchsia (color)

Fuchsia (, FEW-shə) is a vivid purplish red color, named after the color of the flower of the fuchsia plant, which took its name from the 16th century German botanist Leonhart Fuchs.

The color fuchsia was first introduced as the color of a new aniline dye called fuchsine, patented in 1859 by the French chemist François-Emmanuel Verguin. The dye was renamed magenta later in the same year, to celebrate a victory of the French army at the Battle of Magenta on June 4, 1859, near the Italian city of that name.In the RGB color model, used to create colors on computers and television screens, and in web colors, fuchsia and magenta are exactly the same color, made by mixing blue and red light at full and equal intensity.

In color printing and design, there are more variations between magenta and fuchsia. Fuchsia is usually a more purplish color, whereas magenta is more reddish. Fuchsia flowers themselves contain a wide variety of purples.

The first recorded use of fuchsia as a color name in English was in 1892.

Historic paint analysis

Historic paint analysis is the scientific analysis of architectural finishes, including not only paints but also metallic finishes and clear and translucent finishes used on historic buildings. The primary purpose of such analysis is to determine the color of the finish used at a particular time in the building's history, usually the original construction, but not always. Secondary purposes include determination of ingredients such as media (water, oil, latex, etc.) and pigments (organic pigments, inorganic pigments, dyes, etc.). Paint analysis is also used at times as a dating technique for various building elements.

Typical problems encountered in historic paint analysis include such things as paint loss, surface deterioration, newer materials, substrates, delamination, media and pigment deterioration, and alligatoring.


Hue is one of the main properties (called color appearance parameters) of a color, defined technically (in the CIECAM02 model), as "the degree to which a stimulus can be described as similar to or different from stimuli that are described as red, green, blue, and yellow", (which in certain theories of color vision are called unique hues). Hue can typically be represented quantitatively by a single number, often corresponding to an angular position around a central or neutral point or axis on a colorspace coordinate diagram (such as a chromaticity diagram) or color wheel, or by its dominant wavelength or that of its complementary color. The other color appearance parameters are colorfulness, saturation (also known as intensity or chroma), lightness, and brightness.

Usually, colors with the same hue are distinguished with adjectives referring to their lightness or colorfulness, such as with "light blue", "pastel blue", "vivid blue". Exceptions include brown, which is a dark orange.In painting color theory, a hue is a pure pigment—one without tint or shade (added white or black pigment, respectively). Hues are first processed in the brain in areas in the extended V4 called globs.

ISCC–NBS system

The ISCC–NBS System of Color Designation is a system for naming colors based on a set of 12 basic color terms and a small set of adjective modifiers. It was first established in the 1930s by a joint effort of the Inter-Society Color Council, made up of delegates from various American trade organizations, and the National Bureau of Standards, a US government agency. As suggested in 1932 by the first chairman of the ISCC, the system’s goal is to be “a means of designating colors in the United States Pharmacopoeia, in the National Formulary, and in general literature ... such designation to be sufficiently standardized as to be acceptable and usable by science, sufficiently broad to be appreciated and used by science, art, and industry, and sufficiently commonplace to be understood, at least in a general way, by the whole public.” The system aims to provide a basis on which color definitions in fields from fashion and printing to botany and geology can be systematized and regularized, so that each industry need not invent its own incompatible color system.

In 1939, the system’s approach was published in the Journal of Research of the National Bureau of Standards, and the ISCC formally approved the system, which consisted of a set of blocks within the color space defined by the Munsell color system as embodied by the Munsell Book of Color. Over the following decades the ISCC–NBS system’s boundaries were tweaked and its relation to various other color standards were defined, including for instance those for plastics, building materials, botany, paint, and soil. After the definition of the Munsell system was slightly altered by its 1943 renotations, the ISCC–NBS system was redefined in the 1950s in relation to the new Munsell coordinates. In 1955, the NBS published The Color Names Dictionary, which cross-referenced terms from several other color systems and dictionaries, relating them to the ISCC–NBS system and thereby to each other. In 1965, the NBS published Centroid Color Charts made up of color samples demonstrating the central color in each category, as a physical representation of the system usable by the public, and also published The Universal Color Language, a more general system for color designation with various degrees of precision from completely generic (13 broad categories) to extremely precise (numeric values from spectrophotometric measurement). In 1976, The Color Names Dictionary and The Universal Color Language were combined and updated with the publication of Color: Universal Language and Dictionary of Names, the definitive source on the ISCC–NBS system.


Munsell may refer to:

Albert Henry Munsell (1858–1918), American painter, teacher of art, and the inventor of the Munsell color system

Munsell Color Company

Munsell color system developed by the company above

Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test

Munsell, Missouri, a community in the United States

Munsell Color Company

The Munsell Color Company was founded by Albert H. Munsell in 1917 with two other stockholders, Arthur Allen and Ray Greenleaf. It was located at Boston, Massachusetts. This company was manufactured to carry on business by publishing books, selling color supplies for schools such as crayons, water colors, paper colors and school supplies and to teach the principles of Munsell Color System. After the death of Albert H. Munsell, his son, Alexander Ector Orr Munsell, was convinced to take over the company and reorganized it, renamed as the Munsell Color Foundation. The Munsell Color Foundation moved to New York for educational purposes and established the Munsell Laboratory Research which was funded by the Munsell family. A few years later, the Munsell Color Foundation and the Laboratory moved to Baltimore, Maryland, to be close to the National Bureau of Standards and Johns Hopkins University. Alexander Munsell contributed his times attending to Johns Hopkins University and under the guidance from I. G. Priest, in order for Alexander continuing researching on his father’s works. In 1983, the Foundation trustees had voted to close Munsell Color Foundation and donated to Rochester Institute of Technology, from which it created the Munsell Color Science Laboratory.


In colorimetry the OSA-UCS (Optical Society of America Uniform Color Space) is a color space first published in 1947 and developed by the Optical Society of America’s Committee on Uniform Color Scales. Previously created color order systems, such as the Munsell color system, failed to represent perceptual uniformity in all directions. The committee decided that, in order to accurately represent uniform color differences in each direction, a new shape of three dimensional cartesian geometry would need to be used.

Pullen Park Carousel

The Pullen Park Carousel is a classic wood carousel at Pullen Park in Raleigh, North Carolina. Built in 1900, the carousel contains 52 hand-carved basswood animals, 2 chariots (or sleighs), 18 large gilded mirrors and canvas panels and a Wurlitzer #125 band organ made in 1924 by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company of North Tonawanda, New York.The carousel underwent restoration from 1977 to 1982 during which time the original factory paint was uncovered, documented and conserved. Each hand-carved animal was restored to its exact Munsell Color System paint color preserving the original paint underneath a layer of shellac while enabling the animals to look just as they were originally painted. In 1976 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated Raleigh Historic Landmark.


Red-violet is a rich color of high medium saturation about 3/4 of the way between red and magenta, closer to magenta than to red. It is classified in color theory as one of the purple colors—a non-spectral color between red and violet that is a deep version of a color on the line of purples on the CIE chromaticity diagram. Both its saturation and brightness falling short of 100%, red-violet is not a pure chroma. There is a color of similar hue that, however, comes close to being a pure chroma: process magenta. The pure chroma color composed of equal parts of magenta and red is called rose.

In the use by artists, red-violet is equivalent to purple, however, although the color "purple" is inaccurately used by many people as a synonym for violet or a color close to violet, professional artists who use the RYB color wheel generally use the term "purple" to specifically refer to a pigment color that is equivalent to red-violet (i.e., the tertiary color between violet and red on the RYB color wheel) in order to give themselves a larger and more balanced palette of pigments to work with.The Munsell color system also refers to red-violet as purple; in the Munsell color system, this color at the maximum chroma of 12 is called Red-Purple. This convention is for chromatic purposes, since Red-Purple lies between violet and printer's magenta (the color regarded as magenta before the invention of the color electric magenta for computer displays).

Shades of blue

Varieties of the color blue may differ in hue, chroma (also called saturation, intensity, or colorfulness), or lightness (or value, tone, or brightness), or in two or three of these qualities. Variations in value are also called tints and shades, a tint being a blue or other hue mixed with white, a shade being mixed with black. A large selection of these various colors is shown below.

Shades of purple

There are numerous variations of the color purple, a sampling of which are shown below.

In common English usage, purple is a range of hues of color occurring between red and blue.In color theory, purple colors are any colors on the line of purples on the CIE chromaticity diagram (or colors that can be derived from colors on the line of purples), i.e., any color between red and violet, not including either red or violet themselves.The first recorded use of purple as a color name in English was in 975 AD.

Shades of yellow

Varieties of the color yellow may differ in hue, chroma (also called saturation, intensity, or colorfulness) or lightness (or value, tone, or brightness), or in two or three of these qualities. Variations in value are also called tints and shades, a tint being a yellow or other hue mixed with white, a shade being mixed with black. A large selection of these various colors is shown below.

Theresa-Marie Rhyne

Theresa-Marie Rhyne is an expert in the field of computer-generated visualization and a consultant who specializes in applying artistic color theories to visualization and digital media. She has consulted with the Stanford University Visualization Group on a color suggestion prototype system (2013), the Center for Visualization at the University of California at Davis (2013) and the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah (2010 - 2012) & (2014) on applying color theory to ensemble data visualization. Her book on "Applying Color Theory to Digital Media and Visualization" was published by CRC Press on November 17, 2016. In 2017, Theresa-Marie began exploring color harmony Harmony (color) with the Munsell color system and her work on "Visual Analytics with Complementary and Analogous Color Harmony" [1] was published in the Munsell Color Blog [2]. In 2018, she organized and contributed to the SIGGRAPH 2018 panel on "Color Mavens Advise on Digital Media Creation and Tools", that included representation from X-Rite/Pantone, Adobe, Rochester Institute of Technology and Pixar and was presented in Vancouver, Canada.

In the 1990s, as a government contractor with Lockheed Martin Technical Services, she was the founding visualization leader of the US Environmental Protection Agency's Scientific Visualization Center. In the 2000s, she founded the Center for Visualization and Analytics and the Renaissance Computing Institute's Engagement Facility at North Carolina State University. Rhyne is the editor of the Visualization Viewpoints Department for IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications Magazine and serves on the Advisory Board of IEEE Computer magazine. She received a BS degree, two MS degrees, and the Degree of Engineer in Civil Engineering from Stanford University. She entered the computer graphics field as a result of her computational and geographic modeling research in geotechnical and earthquake engineering. She is also an internationally recognized digital media artist who began creating digital media with early Apple computers, including the colorization of early Macintosh educational software. She is a senior member of the IEEE Computer Society and of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

She is also the founding director of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Graphics Cartographic Visualization Project (ACM SIGGRAPH Carto Project) that began in 1996. This effort holds a Birds-of-a-Feather session each year at the annual SIGGRAPH conference.

Color systems
and standards

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