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Title: Defining acceptable colour tolerances for identity branding in natural viewing conditions
Author: Baah, Kwame F. M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 1050
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2017
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Graphic arts provide the channel for the reproduction of most brand communications. The reproduction tolerances in the graphic arts industry are based on standards that aim to produce visually acceptable outcomes. To communicate with their target audience brands, use a set of visual cues that may include the definition of a single or combinations of them to represent themselves. The outcomes are often defined entirely by their colour specification without an associating it to target parameters or suitable colour thresholds. This paper researches into the feasibility of defining colour tolerances for brand graphical representations. The National Health Service branding was used as a test case borne out of a need to resolve differences between contracted suppliers of brand graphics. Psychophysical evaluation of colour coded navigation used to facilitate wayfinding in hospitals under the varying illuminances across the estate was found to have a maximum acceptable colour difference threshold of 5ΔE00. The simulation of defined illumination levels in hospitals, between 25-3000 lux, resulted in an acceptable colour tolerance estimation for colour coded navigation of 3.6ΔE00. Using ICC media relative correction an experiment was designed to test the extent to which substrate white points could be corrected for colour differences between brand proofs and reproductions. Branded stationery and publications substrate corrections to achieve visual matches had acceptable colour difference thresholds of 9.5ΔE*ab for solid colours but only 2.5ΔE*ab. Substrate white point corrections on displays were found to be approximately 12ΔE*ab for solids and 5ΔE*ab for tints. Where display media were concerned the use of non-medical grade to view medical images and branded content was determined to be inefficient, unless suitable greyscale functions were employed. A STRESS test was carried out, for TC 1-93 Greyscale Calculation for Self-Luminous Devices, to compare DICOM GSDF with Whittle’s log brightness. Whittle’s function was found to outperform DICOM GSDF. The colour difference formulas used in this research were tested, using near neutral samples 2 judged by observers using estimated magnitude differences. The CIEDE2000 formula was found to outperform CIELAB despite unexpected outcomes when tested using displays. CIELAB was outperformed in ΔL* by CIEDE2000 for displays. Overall it was found that identity branding colour reproduction was mostly suited to graphic arts tolerances however, to address specific communications, approved tolerances reflecting viewing environments would be the most efficient approach. The findings in this research highlights the need for brand visualisation to consider the adoption of a strategy that includes graphic arts approaches. This is the first time that the subject of defining how brands achieve tolerances for their targeted visual communications has been researched.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Design for Graphic Communication