Free Colour!

Founded in 2016 by a coalition of German and Swiss colour professionals, freieFarbe e.V. is a non-profit association registered in Germany. We want to share tips and hints how to create consistent colour in all fields of application and how the world of colour could be easier. And we want to show: the computer is an ideal tool for colour, it can make colour free!

At the moment, when working with colour, people rely on commercial colour collections that are internally incalculable and hardly compatible with each other. We would like to point out alternatives. Better colour models are available in every computer! Free colour is not only well possible, but also beneficial for all involved parties. If free, non-commercial colour becomes established, this is a revolution in the colour sector – colour would be much cheaper, much easier to use, much more predictable. However, this requires new tools and a lot of persuasion …

On this website you will find a blog where you can post your own articles. Show interesting examples from your field of application, give your own tips.

Out now: HLC Colour Atlas XL edition

Our own development is now available in 2040 and 13283 colours (standard and XL version). We see the innovative HLC Colour Atlas as the basis for all stages of professional colour communication – from design to the finished product. It follows the DIN SPEC 16699.

The free file package contains the PDF version with several gamuts for on-screen comparison or your own printouts plus the 380–730 nm spectral data of all colours for commercial ink formulation.

Print Version of the HLC Colour Atlas

The ring binder is produced with state-of-the-art inkjet proofing equipment in a company specialized in this field – the prints have a colour accuracy that would not have been possible a few years ago (average DeltaE00 < 0.5); it is comparable to the far more complex lacquer printing process.

The price is EUR 149 for the standard edition, and the introductory price for the XL edition amounts to EUR 399 (plus shipping and VAT).

Creation of a DIN specificationDIN-Mitglied

The German Institute for Standardization, DIN e.V., awarded us a research and development contract for the preparation of the DIN SPEC 16699 “Open Colour Communication” which has been published in November 2018. This project was financially supported by DIN.

In this context, we have also joined DIN e.V. as a member.

Open Colour Systems Collection

Bring more than 360 colour systems into your design software or into your programming project. Now with all colour palettes for Adobe CC, Scribus, LibreOffice, Gimp; Lab and RGB colour values in plain text, and photos of the colour fans. Everything can be copied free and passed on under the CC4.0 licence.

You can download the OCSC 2.0 here.


Membership and donation

Become a member, join the colour revolution, and profit from our network of experienced colour users. The annual fee is 50 EUR; for students, it is half that amount. Plus, you get a CIELAB fan (HLC) worth 39 EUR as a welcome gift. Premium members (200 EUR per year or active cooperation) also get an individual partner page to present themselves on freiefarbe.de.

You can also support our work with a donation. The easiest way is by PayPal, where you instantly get a donation receipt.

Videos about free colour

Why must colour be liberated?
Jürgen Opitz, Holger Everding and Reinhard Zerfaß summarise the fundamental goals:

Peter Jäger reports about our goals and current projects, and why we need you for this:


More free colour videos by Peter Jäger

Recommendations for Cross-media Data Preparation from com2publish on Vimeo.

Media-neutral publishing and correct colour across media – pure luck?

Tools for correct cross-media colour – important for a consistent corporate design

FreeColour or FreeColor?

Both! As colour liberation is important worldwide, the international spelling “colour” will mostly be used in our publications. Caused by availability and with respect to our European domicile we chose “freecolour.org” as domain name. Some authors do prefer the American spelling “color” though.