Colour vary depending on viewing situation, illumination, texture and personal preferences. That is why there is a need for standardised “objective” means of measurement. Ecophon has chosen to work with NCS - Natural Colour System®©. 

The Natural Colour System®© describes the colour one wants to see and not the way it is produced and has nothing to do with the mixing of pigments or reflection curves etc.

A notation is based on how much a given colour resembles the six NCS elementary colours yellow, red, blue, green, white and black. That makes it possible to judge the attributes of a colour by its NCS Notation, as shown below for the example S 1050-Y90R.

NCS elementary colours

The six NCS elementary colours.

 A NCS Notation is built up from three properties that visually describe a colour:

  • Hue
  • Blackness
  • Chromaticness 

Blackness is how dark the colour is.
Chromaticness is how close the colour is to the corresponding Hue free from white or black components.
Blackness and Chromaticness together constitute the Nuance. 

How to read a NCS Notation

A NCS Notation should be read backwards, starting from the letter-digit-digit-letter combination at the end. Let's take S 1050-Y90R as an example. It describes a colour that is included in the standard collection (S) and lies in between the yellow (Y) and red (R) colour span.

Standard   Blackness Chromaticness   Hue
The colour is included in the NCS standard collection   10%
perceived blackness
perceived chromaticness
  90% perceived red, the remaning 10% going towards yellow.


















Y90R:  Stands for the Hue, and tells how similar the colour is to the elementary colours yellow, red, blue and green in the NCS Colour Circle. In this case,90% is perceived red (R) and the remaining 10% is going towards yellow (Y). It is found 1 graduation away from the pure red, on the Yellow to Red quarter circle on the NCS Colour Circle.

50:  Means 50% perceived Chromaticness. This means that the colour is 5 steps away from the pure Hue, on the 10 steps scale of the Chromaticness segment going from Pure Black to each Hue on the NCS Colour Circle

10: Means 10% perceived blackness (i.e. to 90% towards white). It is found 1 graduation away from White (W), on the Blackness segment of the NCS Colour Triangle.

S: Means that this colour is included in the standard collection.

S 1050-Y90R has now been localized in the NCS system. It is a quite strong red.

Learn more about the NCS Natural Colour System®© in the NCS website

Colour variations

As in all industrial processes variables like type of paint in use, degree of coverage, porosity of the surface, drying process, etc will affect the colour perception of the surface. Therefore:

  • batches of a same colour should not be mixed. One room = one batch
  • order should be put at once for the same room or area of a larger room.

Note: One should always order extra quantities of coloured products to secure that perimeter tiles or technical tiles can be cut from tiles of the the same batch as the rest of the tiles in the room.