Hey there! I’m Lori, welcome to my page explaining what a Colorography is.

A Colorography is a resource that illustrates a color’s attributes so you can understand what a color looks like in one quick glance.

If you want the detailed break down, keep reading. I’m happy to tell ya all about it.


HUE is one of the major color attributes Colorographies illustrate for you. You can tell what hue family a color belongs to just by looking at where it plots out on The Color Strategist Color Wheel.

What is Chroma? Munsell Color Tree with Magenta Arrows SmallerHue Family is not the same as undertones:

All paint colors are born in theoretical color space. In other words, they’re a kind of digital code before they’re anything else. Then that code is used to create a recipe (or formula) using colorants and base to make the paint color.

The code is like a color’s DNA.

We can look at that code – the color DNA – and determine what hue family a color belongs to.

We can also MEASURE the color (of paint or any material):

• Hue Family is determined by measuring the color under a controlled light source called D65. D65 theoretically mimics mid-day light in northern and western Europe. The point of using an illuminant is NOT to duplicate the light in your house or a building.

• The result of measuring color using a standard illuminant like D65 is objective color data values and notations. Big picture, the specifics of the illuminant don’t matter – like, don’t get too hung up on mid-day light in northern and western Europe part. Because the point of specifying an illuminant is agreeing on a single quality of light so everybody is on the same page. We need to specify an illuminant for measuring color so there is a controlled jumping off point, a consistent benchmark for analyzing and comparing colors. In a word, a standard.

• Color appearance aligns with the color notations calculated using a D65 Illuminant more often than it doesn’t. If a color appears different from its hue family notation, then we can use that information and The Color Strategist Color Wheel to develop another color strategy – if we need to. So, either way, if a color aligns with its hue family notation or not, that hue family notation is used in a way that’s similar to due North on a compass – it’s incredibly powerful!

• The Hue, Value, Chroma, LRV color notation is what you see illustrated on each Colorography.

• Notations are scientific, objective, consistent, and repeatable.

You need to know that undertones (as most people attempt to apply the theory to specifying colors) is just somebody’s best guess about what a color looks like under whatever random light source they happen to be looking at it under. Not consistent. Not objective. Not science-based. Not repeatable. It is not possible to describe, define or organize color according to undertones which are subjective, random color judgments.

How Colorography works:

  1. Looking for a color? Simply do a search in the Colorography Lab. Link to Colorography Lab 
  2. The Color Strategist Color Wheel™ illustrates what hue family the color belongs to.
  3. Value tells you how bright/dark | light/dark a color looks.
  4. Chroma is about vividness and dullness. It tells you how colorful or gray a color looks.
  5. Light Reflectance Value (LRV) tells you how much light a color reflects and thus implies how much it absorbs.

This is evidence-based, scientific data.

Think of it as color DNA or a color’s fingerprint.

Balboa Mist OC-27 Colorography

Look for the #colorographylab hashtag on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIN.


Here’s Balboa Mist OC-27 by Benjamin Moore in context of its Hue Family neighborhood, 2 Y, on The Color Strategist Color Wheel. The pink arrows point to where Balboa Mist OC-27 fits in among the other colors according to its Value 8.40 (rounded to 8.38) and Chroma of 0.62 rounded to 0.75.

Atlas Balboa Mist OC-27Don’t Miss Out!

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Find the whole collection of Colorographies in the Colorography Lab

Follow my Colorography board on Pinterest.

Colorography™ brings clarity to color by blurring boundaries between the art and science of color.

Using quick, at-a-glance infographics, you understand everything you need to know about a paint color including hue family, value, chroma, overtones and LRV.

We dissect and map all the important details of a color for you.

The important details you need to know when choosing paint colors. Colorography means you can quit guessing about undertones and thoroughly understand what the color is all about before you spend a dime on a sample.

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Am I seeing this color right?

You can stop second guessing what you think a color looks like.

The Color Strategist Color Wheel is an invaluable color tool that tells you what hue family a color belongs to.

Get the color wheel, plus instructions for how to use it for FREE when you subscribe to The Land of Color.

The Color Strategist Color Wheel by Lori Sawaya