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NCS Colour Scan 2.0

The Scandinavian Colour Institute's new device identifies color from any surface

by Richard Prime in Tech on 25 October 2010

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While the creative world might be aflutter over Pantone's new color-matching device Capsure, for an alternative widely-used system in a nearly identical package, NCS Colour Scan 2.0 uses the same scanning technology to chose color from any surface and retrieve the closest NCS Colour Notationin a matter of seconds.

Packed with plenty of new features, the zoom function combined with a color screen and crosshairs lets you isolate and scan colors from the tiniest of patterns. And a built-in voice recorder provides an easy way to tag and recall special hues for when you're back in the studio.

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The Colour Scan also helps develop complementary colorways, offering suggestions based on chosen hues. For the color nerds, the scanner offers CMYK, RGB and Lab values for each color so you can drop them into graphics and CAD applications. The new gadget also works with the company's online 3D color application navigator, supplying even more options for building quick, effective colorways and combinations.

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But what really sets the Colour Scan apart from competitors is the system on which its based. In the 1920s the Swedes began research into color perception based on German physiologist Ewald Hering's 1874 work. The Scandinavian Colour Institute, born in 1946, was tasked to use this initial research to create a descriptive language for talking about and communicating color. With accuracy at the forefront, the Natural Colour System was born and the science-based system has been telling people exactly how any color appears to the eye and providing a unique code for creating precise color samples since.

For the modern designer working in different locations and sites, gathering inspiration and seeking to apply this information quickly and easily, the NCS Colour Scan 2.0 might well be more vital than a camera. The scanner sells online for €600.

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