HLC Colour Atlas

The HLC Colour Atlas

HLC Colour Wheel in 10° hue angle increments

The HLC Colour System being developed and promoted by freieFarbe e. V. is a professional way to communicate colour from design to finished product. It facilitates the specification of colours on the basis of CIELAB HLC values by means of the printed HLC Colour Atlas. Moreover, it makes available colour libraries for various applications such as Adobe CS and CC software free of charge.

Unique in the marketplace is the unrestricted access to spectral data that represent the printed HLC Colour Atlas. These files permit the data exchange with commercial systems for colour formulation in different industrial sectors like printing inks, paints and varnishes, synthetics or textiles.

The experiences we make with the HLC Colour System go directly into the DIN research project „Open Color Communication“ (DIN is the German institute for standardisation which awarded freieFarbe a grant to write a specification; not quite a full-fledged standard, but a possible precursor to one).


Ring binder Colour tables H90 and H100 Media wedge for quality control

Due to limited resources, the English translations and the publication of English versions of the download items may take some more time. However, we are confident it will well be worth the wait.

Thank you for contributing!

freieFarbe (freeColour Association) Members

Jan-Peter Homann oversees the project with his expert knowledge and also represents our basic approach in a research project for the German Standards Institute (DIN). Holger Everding initiated the creation of a Lab-based colour reference toolset by producing Lab and HLC fan decks covering the 4c offset printing gamut. Peter Jäger contributes to the project with design and public relations work. Eric Soder supports it in terms of design as well as conceptional and technical assistance. Matthias Betz contributes English texts, produces prototypes and final products, and he undertakes the distribution as well.


… supplied us with colour server software that helped take the precision of the printed atlas to the next level by iterating each colour swatch individually to better match it with the target values.


GMG sponsors proofing media and software for constant and colour-consistent printing and for quality control and documentation in the production process.

Epson Deutschland GmbH

The leading global player in the field of printer systems for colour proofing sponsors the ink needed in the project as well as a backup high-end proofer on loan.


Gregory Pittman wrote scripts for the automated creation of colour swatch tables. Along with Christoph Schäfer, he also edited English texts.