National Color System Crossovers

Who is NCS?

National Color System (NCS) is a company from Stockholm, Sweden. They have color systems comparable to Pantone, CEI, RAL, and Munsel.   NCS works with most coating companies. 

Credit to's custom java script code for NCS color.  This page would not exist without them.

Natural Color System (NCS)is a proprietary perceptual color model developed in Sweden. It's based on the color opponency theory of human vision, which is centered around the way humans perceive colors.

Key aspects of the NCS include:

  1. Color Opponency Theory: NCS is based on the idea that there are four basic colors (yellow, red, blue, and green) from which all other colors are perceived. These colors are arranged in a perceptual space, reflecting the way humans see and interpret colors.

  2. Perceptual Color Dimensions: In NCS, each color is described in terms of its similarity to or difference from the basic colors, as well as in terms of blackness, whiteness, and chromaticness. This makes the system intuitive as it aligns with human color perception.

  3. Standardization: NCS is standardized under Swedish Standard SS 019101 and is used extensively in Europe, especially in the fields of architecture, interior design, and material manufacturing. It helps in specifying colors for paints, finishes, and other materials.

  4. Widespread Use in Design and Industry: NCS is particularly popular among designers and architects because it allows them to work with a color model that closely matches the human visual experience. It's also used in education to teach color theory.

  5. Color Notation System: The NCS notation provides a clear and unambiguous way of describing color. For example, a notation like NCS S 2060-Y means the color is 20% blackness, 60% chromaticness, and its hue is yellow.

  6. Global Recognition: While NCS is not as globally recognized as Pantone or RAL, it has a significant presence in certain regions and industries, particularly in Scandinavia and parts of Europe.

The NCS offers a unique approach to color specification, focusing on the way humans perceive color, which can be particularly useful in applications where color accuracy and perception are critical.