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.


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 available, based on the “HLC Color Atlas XL”.

Acrylic Studio Colours by Vallejo (27 bases)
Artists’ Oil Colors by Winsor&Newton (62 bases)
Artisan Colors by Winsor&Newton (32 bases)
Conservation Colors by Gamblin (all colors except “Venetian Red” and “Extender White”: 42 colors)
Designers Gouache colours by Winsor&Newton (48 bases)
Ferrario 1919 by Ferrario (30 bases)
Finity Acrylic Color by Winsor&Newton (Basic Acrylic Set) (2006)
Galeria by Winsor&Newton (30 bases)
Georgian Oil Colours by Daler-Rowney (22 bases)
Grumbacher MAX Water Mixable Oils by Chartpak (45 bases)
Grumbacher Pre-tested Professional Oils by Chartpak (44 bases)
Heavy Body Artist Colors by Liquitex (22 bases)
Heavy Body Acrylic Colors by Golden (35 bases)
Matte Fluid Acrylic Colors by Golden (27 bases)
Norma Professional finest artist’s oil colors by Schmincke (21 bases)
Pen Color by Ferrario (all colors) + Badger White + Hansa White (2004)
Polycolor by Maimeri (white, black and primaries: 018 + 116 + 256 + 400 + 530) (2006)
Polycolor by Maimeri (32 bases)
Primacryl by Schmincke (32 bases)
Professional Acrylic Colours by Winsor&Newton (60 bases)
Rembrandt Extra-Fine Artists’ Oil Colors by Talens (12 bases)
Rembrandt Extra-Fine Artists’ Oil Colors by Talens (40 bases)
System3 Original Acrylics by Daler-Rowney (29 bases)
Van Gogh oil colors by Royal Talens (25 bases)