Downloaded worldwide for the convenience of digital guide (As of May 31, 2013)

DIC digitalized the COLOR GUIDE in October, 2010, and started releasing it as a free application for smartphones (iPhone by Apple). Since then, we have been expanding the users while enhancing compatible OS and contents.

Digital tool that excels in portability and search function


Since the release of DIC’s first edition of the “COLOR GUIDE” in 1968, it has been widely utilized as a necessary tool for color planning and color communication through revisions. In 2008, when digital devices became popularized in various design and product development departments and mobile terminal functions were starting to significantly improve, the “COLOR GUIDE digitalization project” was established within DIC. This was a challenge driven by the sense of mission as a “company that handles colors” while responding to customers’ need for a “tool that is easier to carry and enables us to search colors more conveniently.”

We released the Digital COLOR GUIDE application for smartphones and established a method to freely search from 2,230 colors on LC screens. We concluded a contract with Apple, measured the characteristics of iPhone (iPod touch) LC screens, and developed color conversion software that pursued color reproducibility.

Platform that accurately communicates colors

DIC digitalized the COLOR GUIDE
DIC digitalized the COLOR GUIDE

The release of the “DIC Digital COLOR GUIDE” in October, 2010, surprised people, because it was a “free application” that anyone can freely download despite the fact that it came with the search function and an abundance of database fully utilizing digital technologies. Behind this was DIC’s wish to “enable more people to casually use this as a convenient platform to accurately communicate colors to experience the richness and joy of colors and be more familiar with the world of colors.”

[Main basic functions]

  1. 1) Displays in ink compositions (CMYK) that enable users to quickly search for colors and reproduce the selected colors in printing, 3 primary color ratio (RGB) of light to reproduce colors on computers, and “Munsell values,” which is a color standard utilized in Europe, the U.S., and the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS)
  2. Japanese/English/Chinese switchable display
  3. Conveniently records/saves favorite colors
  4. Simulates characteristics of and difference in colors depending on the printed material (poster board/PET sheet/metal/film, etc.) in images
  5. Displays COLOR GUIDE colors, with which color information is extracted and approximated by touching photo images taken

“DIC Digital COLOR GUIDE” was downloaded worldwide, starting immediately after its release. It received high acclaim in a wide variety of areas, including architecture, industry, commerce, fashion, and interior, etc. In order to respond to more varied OS environments, we released the iPad version in May, 2011, and the Android version in November for tablet terminals. Furthermore, we began releasing the Macintosh version, in which color accuracy and simulation functions were enhanced, for specialists, such as designers, etc., in June, 2013.
The total number of downloads in 1.5 years after the release has exceeded 410,000 (as of May 31, 2013).

COLOR GUIDE series software development


  • ※1iPhone (iPod touch), iPad, and Macintosh are product names by Apple.
  • ※2Android is a platform for mobile terminals released by Google in 2007.

Unlimited colors at hand

Colors and materials have been attracting attention as important elements in product designing. I am in charge of the development to highlight their attractions and introduction to products. I often research shows and markets as part of the process, and I need to accurately record the colors and textures confirmed in the field when I do so. The “Digital COLOR GUIDE” enables me to quickly and conveniently record close colors on my smartphone and to confirm them on the screen. While the traditional paper chips are more effective when it comes to color accuracy, this application enabled me to research more conveniently. In addition, I have the sense of security that I always have an abundance of colors at hand as well as the joy of being able to see them at any time. One of the advantages is that it also enables me to learn the background, history, and name of colors. While it still has issues, such as the matching accuracy with the “DIC COLOR GUIDE,” etc., this is a free and fun application with which I can anticipate future development.

Sony Corporation UX & Product Strategy Group Creative Center Product Design Managing Group CMF Design Team Senior Producer Mr. Hajime Ogura

Sony Corporation
UX & Product Strategy Group
Creative Center
Product Design Managing Group
CMF Design Team
Senior Producer
Mr. Hajime Ogura


Unlimited uses! This is an “entrance to browse color database.”

Seeing inquiries that we directly receive, introductory articles on the media, blogs, and twitter, the use of the “Digital COLOR GUIDE” truly differs for each person. There have even been unique examples of detecting the deterioration of photovoltaic generation back panels, database for Japanese painting restoration, and manicure salon color samples, etc. In order to reproduce colors on LC screens, it is necessary to fine tune color conversion software to match the characteristics of each model by different manufacturers, whether it’s a smartphone or a PC monitor. This requires a massive amount of work. However, knowing that the COLOR GUIDE is being utilized in countries and places where we can’t even imagine makes us forget the troubles.
What is important is the positioning that the COLOR GUIDE is an entrance to browse the color database. Due to this fact, we hope to continue enhancing the quality and volume of the infrastructure so-called database by fully utilizing the technologies that are unique to our company, which has extensive knowledge about colors.

分散第一技術本部 分散技術1グループ 主任研究員 森原 康博

Dispersion Technical Department 1
Dispersion Technical Group 1
Yasuhiro Morihara


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