This article explains why you should not use a monitor or rely on indoor lighting when making your final colour selection. We strongly advise a site visit with a True to Life Colour Card when choosing a colour.

True to Life Colour Card

We recommend you use our True to Life Colour Card  which is made up of small swatches with genuine colour matched concrete brushed onto them when making your final decision.  Call 1800 077 744 or email [email protected] to request assistance.

IMPORTANT: Always check your colours on site for the following reasons

• Ambient lighting will affect how the colour appears. 

• Direct sunlight produces a different appearance to indirect light

• Indoor lighting globes vary in intensity (lux) and colour (kelvin) 

Here is an excellent article that outlines the different types of indoor lighting you will encounter 

Below is a chart showing a small sample of colours and the variations you will experience depending on where and how you view them. 

lighting changes affecting colours

Computer monitors and mobile phones

Never make your final decision based on a mobile phone or computer monitor representation.

The photo below illustrates why.

All three monitors and two phones display the exact same page and colour selection (CCS Blue Gum in the top right through to CCS Gothic Blue in the bottom left) from our CCS website colour page. The colours on the two left monitors are distinctly warmer than the colours on the right monitor. The brightness of screens also impacts on how the colours appear.

Why does this happen? Because each monitor has a unique colour profile. All monitors will display colours slightly differently and it is almost impossible to know if your monitor will match the computer that was used to create the original swatches. Not only that, monitors and mobile phones use what is called ‘additive light’, whereas concrete and printed material uses colour that is ‘subtractive light’. A simple way to remember the difference is that ‘additive light’ is where colour is generated from the light source, where as ‘subtractive lighting’ is generated by reflecting off another source that actually absorbs light to generate the colour. The actual difference is far more complex. Read more about colour modes.

It is almost impossible to replicate a concrete colour on a computer screen.  

Any web swatch is a guide to the variation between colours, rather than an exact depiction.

Printed material

While closer to the final colour match, we DO NOT recommend you choose from a printed swatch for the following reason.

The colour that is created on a printed swatch has many variables. Most colours are reproduced using a combination of 4 colours – cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Unfortunately, no matter how careful a printer is, each print run can vary the amount of ink used, the pressure of the plate and the type of paper used. The age of the printed piece will also affect colour reproduction as ink colour will fade over time. Not only that, the colour that is used to create the printed version will be generated by matching the original concrete colour on a computer monitor (we have already seen how much variation can occur with a computer monitor). Even when a monitor is correctly calibrated, the ambient light will effect how the swatch appears to the person matching the colour. We will explore ambient colour next.

Any printed colour swatch is a guide to the variation between colours, rather than the exact result.

So please ask for a True to Life Colour Card  before making major concrete colour decisions! Call 1800 077 744 or email [email protected] to request assistance.

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