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60 Jahre Standox

Help to navigate the colour jungle

Precise colour matching at the touch of a button: Genius iQ

Precise colour matching at the touch of a button: Genius iQ

The human eye can distinguish between 2,000,000 different colour tones, according to scientists. Women may even manage more. But then there are people who have an additional photoreceptor on their retina that apparently allows them to perceive 99,000,000 different colours.

For decades, car paints only had a limited range of colours to offer compared to that. An extreme example of that was highlighted by Henry Ford when he said: “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black”. One reason for this restriction was that the paint technologies used at the time had their limits. Some colours yellowed with age, others faded or became dull. Until the early 1970s there were only around 7,000 colours in which cars could be painted, worldwide.

Now there are around 60,000 different colour tones and nuances to which a further 1,000 are added every year – a challenge for any refinisher who wants to identify a colour accurately.

Colour matching of vintage cars is particularly demanding as the paints may have changed colour over the years.

Colour matching of vintage cars is particularly demanding as the paints may have changed colour over the years.

Red is not the same as red, and that applies to every other colour as well, even neutral colours like black, white, silver and grey, which are particularly popular.

To address this, Standox launched its electronic Genius spectrophotometer in 1996. This handy device makes it possible to measure colours directly on the car body. The result is compared to the nearly 250,000 colours stored on a comprehensive database using the digital Standowin iQ colour search programme. Standowin iQ, a technology that facilitates quick, exact and flawless work, also displays the corresponding colour formula. And Standox has now has the latest generation of its successful spectrophotometer - Genius iQ. The device is able to measure the coarseness of the effect pigments, making digital colour matching even more accurate and efficient. However, the traditional analogue colour measuring method that uses colour samples still works well and is popular. And many refinishers rely on another instrument to identify colours – the human eye.

Photo and video credits for this page
Standox (Spectrophotometer); Udo Geisler (Vintage car)