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Resene Colour CodingHow to decipher the Resene Total Colour System codes


As of 2006, old Resene Total Colour codes, such as 1RO20, have been replaced with a new code format that enables easier comparison between colours. The new codes have been designed to translate into colour information enabling specifiers and decorators to make direct comparisons on three attributes between multiple colours. While the existing codes allow comparison of colours on scales of dark and light and position within general colourspace, there is no provision for a measurement of the greyness of a colour.

The new codes follow a format of BR99-010-090.

The first letter or letters tells you what colour group the colour is from:

B = Blue BR = Brown G = Green M = Metallics N = Neutral
O = Orange R = Red V = Violet Y = Yellow  

The first digits denote the colour's luminance, with 0 being approximately black and 100 being approximately white.

The second set of digits denotes how far from grey the colour is. That is, the lower the number the more grey in the colour, the higher the number the cleaner the colour is. For example, Resene Black (black) has a value of 000 while Resene Turbo (bright yellow) has a value of 198.

The last set of digits tells you where the colour sits on a wheel of colour of 0 to 360 degrees. This allows you to place multiple colours into a sequence and determine the relative positioning of colours.

By comparing multiple colours using the new colour codes you can establish whether a colour is greyer or cleaner, brighter or darker and where they sit on a colour wheel.

The new codes will start to come through as colour charts are reprinted, though it will be some time before all charts incorporate the new codes.

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