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Identifying and Verifying Colours


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There are many data, news, documents, pictures, information etc. that are presented to members of the public or targeted consumers by employing diverse colour as tool of communication. It is therefore very imperative that individuals have a fair knowledge of colours and how to identify and verify them when using them or interpreting them.

Examples of such critical times where the knowledge of colours or ability to verify colours comes into play is in designated places or venues where colours have been employed to give visual directions and instructions. Such places may include but not limited to Airports, seaports, train stations, Bus Terminals, Zoos and Archaeological places, event centers etc.

Colours might also be used to give direct instructions on sensitive appliances and devices. These devices and appliances might have the manual for operation fully loaded with colour description and verification plans. The knowledge of colour verification and identification is therefore not only essential but sometimes very crucial.


However, the application of colour technology is most explicit in the printing media, photography, films and movie industries and the graphics related industries. As the printing industry continues to grow, new products and processes are being developed to meet the needs of evolving markets. There is rapid transformation in the industry in areas such as equipment, technology, and all aspects of printing and finishing techniques.

Professional printers, producers or publishers need to establish standard operating procedures for delivering accurate colour in executing the job or contract or printing as any alteration might have consequences for the final product or the desires of the client or final users (consumers of the product)

Process of Colour Verification

In colour verification, the principle is simple. It is based on comparisons until you achieve desired results.  Due to technology, the process is now automated. There is usually a “target” which connotes the desired colour or specification. Then you get colour patches from your ‘output’ and match with the target and run the program to confirm positive (pass) or negative (fail).

Spectrophotometers and colour verification software

Generallyspectrophotometers measures light intensity as a function of wavelength. By measuring the spectrum of reflected light, it allows a more precise determination of an object's colour than with a colourimeter using three sensors (red, green, blue). 

 Modern spectrophotometers are built with light source technology inside the instrument and improved "measurement modes" that gives good colour verification results. Example includes the spectrophotometers is the X-Rite i1 Pro. The colour verification process can be automated if the printer has an integrated spectrophotometer. There are now colour verification software also that are integrated into the process.

There are institutions and expert firms that offer training in colour verification standards

Examples of such institutions is the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA). The training often offer trainees the opportunity also to learn about colour principles and theories. Graduate trainee can become a Certified SGIA Digital Colour Professional. SGIA Qualified Digital Colour Professionals are required to pass a written exam demonstrating their knowledge of colour management theory and process.

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