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TAPPI T 524 Color (L,a,b,L*,a*,b*)






Color of paper and paperboard (45/0, C/2)


TAPPI T 524 Color specifies a procedure for measuring the color of paper or paperboard with tristimulus filter colorimeters or spectrophotometers incorporating directional (45/0) geometry and CIE (International Commission on Illumination) illuminant C.

In the method, tristimulus values X (red), Y (green), and Z (blue), appropriate to the CIE-1931 (2°) standard observer, are calculated from reflectance measurements Rx, Ry, and Rz. or from R (λ) data. Color can then be expressed in various color space systems:

  1.  Hunter L, a, b
  2. CIE L*, a*, b*
  3. L*, C*, h
  4. Dominant wavelength, purity, luminosity
  5. Color difference, [ΔE, ΔE*, ΔE*94, ΔE (CMC)]

Instruments equipped with microprocessors which give direct information relating to different color scale systems conform to this method only if the means of measurements and calculation conform to the descriptions herein.


The color appearance of paper and paperboard is important for its aesthetic value in marketing packaged products, as an aid to distribution of multi-ply forms, to differentiate pages or sections of published literature, in art work, and in many other applications. A numerical definition of color is essential to good quality control and to customer-producer relationships.

Please note:
SGS-IPS cannot sell or otherwise provide standards, specifications, or test procedures to third parties.