I see the new HLC Color Atlas as the basis for all stages of professional color communication – from the design to the finished product. The standard version contains 2040 and the XL version contains over 13000 mathematically and systematically graded CIELAB shades.

I use the HLC Color Atlas as a color inventory.

The free file package includes the multi-gamut PDF version of the atlas for your own printouts, as well as the spectral data (380-730 nm) of all shades for formulation software.

The spectral data correspond to the printed fields of the color atlas and can be read, processed and used directly by software solution for quickly, accurately, consistently creating, storing, sharing and reusing ink formulations for offset, flexo, gravure and screen printing. On the basis of this spectral data, ink manufacturers can produce precise ink formulations, taking the substrate color into account. This data is not only suitable for the formulation of the classic printing processes, but can also be used for paints, screen printing, pad printing, textile printing and much more. Even if your print shop is located in a foreign country and does not have the free color HLC color atlas, you can load the color atlas PDF, the CIELAB target/actual value table and the spectral data of all color fields free of charge at any time, and then – apart from the printed visual reference – about all the details one could wish for in terms of color formulation and color rendering. Since the data is available in two languages, German and English, the data is accepted worldwide.

wants to contribute to the fact that in the future every user can design a color on the computer and use it cross-medially in all media.

I want to spread the idea of free color: you are welcome to pass on the data – commercial purposes are also permitted (Creative Commons license CC-BY-ND 4.0)

FreieFarbe e.V. is an association of German and Swiss color experts. FreieFarbe has been registered as a non-profit association under German law since 2016.

FreieFarbe would like to give tips and hints on how to create a consistent color in all areas of application, relies on open standards that have long been integrated into the computer and wants to show: The computer is an ideal tool for designing color Color freely!

FreieFarbe e.V. does not pursue any commercial goals, but would like to promote color communication and

Make color predictable
Make color applicable throughout
Make color systems comparable
Simplify color communication
No license costs
Tips and hints for cross-media correct color workflows
Make the multifaceted mystery of color understandable

In short:

Color free from shackles! There are many good approaches for this. FreieFarbe e.V. would like to initiate an open and constructive dialogue of the possibilities, everyone can participate.

Vision for the future
Even today we still live in a color world in which many color companies cook their own closely guarded soup. Facade paint doesn’t talk to wall paint, wall color doesn’t talk to color, color doesn’t talk to printing ink, printing color doesn’t talk to textile printing color and all of them don’t talk to the computer as the central tool of color designers, creative people.
For us at FreieFarbe e.V. it is difficult to understand why there are hundreds of proprietary systems that cannot and do not want to communicate with each other, especially when it comes to such a central topic as color and color representation, and which are kept secret away from transparent color models and open, free standards.

We at FreieFarbe e.V. have the very simple vision that in the near future creative people, designers, paint manufacturers, printers, product manufacturers and many more will be able to speak a common color language in a transparent, open and license-free manner. We want the free HLC colors to be varied freely and sensibly supplemented by software that displays them exactly and that the corresponding color tones are available as paint, on textiles, as powder coating, foil, facade paint and much more and can be ordered easily and directly can. That any color, including any intermediate color, will be available online, at paint shops, printers, hardware stores, etc., and can be printed on a home and office printer. And if not, for example because the color is outside the printing system, transparent and open communication works for everyone involved about what is possible and feasible.
That’s what we stand for.


Mixing recipes of acrylic colors from manufacturers of artists’ colors, based on the “HLC Color Atlas Standard version”, on request only.



1 Createx Illustration Opaques (11 colors)


2 Daler-Rowney Georgian Oil Colours (22 colors)

3 Daler-Rowney System3 Original Acrylics (29 colors)


4 Ferrario 1919 Oil Colors (30 colors)

5 Ferrario Pen Colors (26 colors)

6 Gamblin Artist Oil Colors (46 colors)

7 Gamblin Conservation Colors (42 colors)

8 Golden Heavy Body Acrylic Colors (35 colors)


9 Golden Matte Fluid Acrylic Colors (27 colors)


10 Chartpak Grumbacher MAX Water Mixable Oils (45 colors)


11 Chartpak Grumbacher Pre-tested Professional Oils (44 colors)


12 Liquitex Heavy Body Artist Colors (22 colors)


13 Maimeri Polycolor (33 colors)


14 Schmincke Norma Professional finest artist’s oil colors (21 colors)

15 Schmincke Primacryl (32 colors)


16 Sennelier Extra Fine Oils (46 colors)

17 Royal Talens Rembrandt Extra-Fine Artists’ Oil Colors (40 colors)

18 Royal Talens Van Gogh Oil colors (25 colors)

19 Vallejo Acrylic Studio Colours (27 colors)


20 Winsor&Newton Artisan Water Soluble Oils (32 colors)


21 Winsor&Newton Artists’ Oil Colors (62 colors)

22 Winsor&Newton Designers Gouache Colours (48 colors)

23 Winsor&Newton Galeria Acrylic Colors (30 colors)


24 Winsor&Newton Professional Acrylic Colours (60 colors).