[CREATE] freieFarbe/freeColour HLC colour system to be accepted as a national standard for "Open Colour Communication" in Germany

Susan Spencer susan.spencer at gmail.com
Fri Dec 1 22:43:40 UTC 2017

Congratulations Christoph!

Do you have an article we could link to on social media for the Fashion
Freedom Initiative (https://fashionfreedom.eu)?
This will beneficially affect many industries.


On Nov 30, 2017 19:36, Christoph Schäfer <christoph-schaefer at gmx.de> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I have some incredible news for you.
> Yesterday freieFarbe/freeColour received a message from the German
> industrial standards organisation (DIN) that our proposal for an open
> standard for "Open Colour Communication" based on the HLC colour model (aka
> as Lhc) has been accepted and will become a German national standard soon
> (because we have prepared this carefully during 2016 and 2017).
> What does this mean? First, it will no longer be an initiative by a tiny
> non-profit organisation, but a national standard, and since DIN is very
> influential internationally, it will become a de-facto standard in other
> countries as well. Plus, it may be possible to make this an ISO standard
> via DIN.
> In addition, DIN will support the formulation of the standard and our work
> with substantial sums, not the least because the creation of a standard and
> pushing its way through all the respective instances and expert checks is
> expensive (would've been 25,000 EUR in our case, which has been reduced to
> zero, because it's an open and non-commercial project). We will also
> receive some money for meetings, travel expenses etc. from DIN.
> One of the reasons we got so far is support by parts of the printing
> industry in Germany and Switzerland. The prototype of the printed colour
> reference, which we presented to DIN, was only possible thanks to a
> donation of inks by an international manufacturer of digitial printing
> machines. We're currently cooperating with ink manufacturers in Germany and
> Switzerland to establish ink formulas for HLC colours that cannot be
> reproduced in CMYK, aka as spot colours, so printing companies can actually
> order spot colour inks by just inserting the HLC colour code in their order
> forms.
> The printed colour reference has the form a ring binder. Colours are
> sorted by their H-values (H=Hue) in steps of ten. Luminacity (L) uses steps
> of five, and chroma (C) also steps of ten. We plan to refine this later to
> also present the H-values in steps of five.
> This is a real colour system and not just a colour collection like Pantone
> or RAL. Most importantly, it is a free and open alternative to Pantone &
> co, which is not only better, but also supported by a national standards
> organisation and some major players in the industry. There are no licensing
> costs to pay for anyone who wants to use the colour system, not for
> software producers and neither for the ink mixing formulas. The latter is
> important, because vendors like Pantone ask for a lot of money from ink
> producers for the mixing formulas, whilst the open HLC system is gratis.
> The PDF version of the colour reference and the digital colour palettes
> will be published under a CC licence (CC BY-ND 4.0). The printed colour
> reference will cost some money to cover the production costs, but it will
> be much cheaper than the ones from Pantone & co, because we only need to
> cover our expenses and do not intend/aren't allowed to as a non-profit
> organisation to commercialise it. Moreover, everyone else will be free to
> print their own references, and there are no trademarks involved.
> Another important aspect is that the HLC colour system, being a national
> standard, will be very hard to attack legally by commercial vendors like
> Pantone or RAL, who are known to play hardball when it comes to
> competition. They would have to take on DIN, which I'm sure they'll think
> about twice.
> We'll start with Germany and Switzerland, because that's where most of our
> members and supporters are from, but we plan to release an English version
> of the colour reference as soon as the colour system has been formally
> adapted as a standard.
> Currently, an older version of the HLC palette is already included in
> Scribus 1.5.3+ (L*a*b*) and the latest LibreOffice (sRGB). And speaking of
> Scribus, the juicy bit is that the colour reference will most likely be
> produced with Scribus 1.5.4svn, because it offers the highest colour
> precision for fill colours (64 bit). No other DTP software comes close in
> this regard.
> Christoph
> _______________________________________________
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> CREATE at lists.freedesktop.org
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