Setsuko Horiguchi  Nippon Color & Design Institute Tokyo, Japan   

Setsuko Horiguchi
Nippon Color & Design Institute
Tokyo, Japan


Katsura Iwamatsu  Research Fellow Nippon Color & Design Research Institute Tokyo, Japan

Katsura Iwamatsu
Research Fellow
Nippon Color & Design Research Institute
Tokyo, Japan

Setsuko Horiguchi and
Katsura Iwamatsu 

Setsuko Horiguchi graduated from the department of psychology of Waseda University in Tokyo with degree of Bachelor of Arts in Literature in 1981 and joined Nippon Color & Design Research Institute Inc. in April of 1981. Since then she has worked as a planning manager, consultant, and seminar lecturer in the fields of fashion, product, food, retail, housing, environment.  She is the editor of the biannual Japanese periodical of color trend forecast, "Season Image Color" and co-author of "Basic knowledge of Color Image", Tokyo: David publishing co., 1995. In addition to her work with NCD, she is a member of the Japan Sensory Engineering Association, Part-time lecturer at Kyoei University, Kyoei Gakuen Junior College, Part-time lecturer at the Tokyo Nutrition Foods College, Lecturer at the Nippon Barber Beauty Education Center, and a Landscape Advisor for Taito City of Tokyo.

Katsura Iwamatsu joined the Nippon Color and Design (NCD) Research Institute Inc. in 1981 as the research assistant and secretary of president Shigenobu Kobayashi and later worked as lecturer of seminars, assistant manager of project planning and editorial works. From 1999 to 2008 she was a freelance editor with publisher Kodansha for several books of NCD such as "Color System", "Practical Color Design", and "Color Image Scale." She is currently a research fellow in NCD. Ms Iwamatsu will be presenting with and translating for Ms Horiguchi.

Thursday, June 14 - AM General Session
From Munsell Color System To A New Color Psychology System

The founder of Nippon Color and Design Research Institute (NCD), Shigenobu Kobayashi (1925-2010), graduated from Hiroshima College of Technology in 1947, then taught middle-school science while pursuing an MA in Psychology (1954) at Waseda University. He went on to publish several books on psychology, design, and color, and placed twice in Dokuritsu Exhibition, while teaching at various art schools and colleges.

It was with the intent of furthering the research in the psychology of color while creating a viable business model in the field, that Kobayashi founded NCD in 1967. The timing was opportune, for it was a period of rapid economic growth and modernization in Japan immediately after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, when many in the nascent fields of graphics and design were eager to take advantage of the color psychology data provided by NCD. The first project undertaken by NCD was the creation of a 5000-color chart based on Munsell Color System for an auto maker, which inspired Kobayashi and his team to develop a new system based on Munsell Scale, by shifting the focus from Hue towards Tone (combination of Value and Chroma). The basic Color Image Chart encompassing 480 chromatic colors (40 Munsell hues x 12 tones) and 10 neutral colors was finalized in 1969, establishing the framework for NCD’s Hue and Tone System. With further refinements over subsequent decades incorporating C.E. Osgood’s Semantic Differential Method, the current Color Image Scale with Warm-Cool, Soft-Hard and Clear-Grayish axes was born. Representing 130 individual colors, it is a diagnostic model of psychological color space with a wide range of practical applications, from product development and marketing to city planning.

Our presentation will offer an overview of the evolution of Kobayashi’s system, along with actual examples of consumer products and hands-on experience in combining colors for real-life uses.

Tuesday, June 12th - AM Breakout Session Workshop
Friday, June 15th - AM Breakout Session Workshop
Psychological Analysis with the Color Image Scale

The Color Image Scale, developed by Nippon Color Design Research Institute (NCD) and its founder Shigenobu Kobayashi (1925-2010), is a revolutionary 3D modeling system for psychological color space with Warm-Cool, Soft-Hard, and Clear-Grayish axes. Based on decades of research, it depicts the psychological effect of color combinations using the least number of index colors possible. The research, based on Munsell Color System and started in the early 1970’s, was initially focused on individual colors, but gradually shifted its attention towards the psychological impact and pragmatic use of color. By incorporating the semantics and human perception to the traditional color anatomy, the final product offers a cultural and societal understanding of color that serves a wide variety of commercial and educational purposes.

Although based primarily on adjectives culled from the Japanese language, Color Image Scale is highly adaptable for cross-cultural comparative study of color design. In the workshop, we will offer a systematic view of the semantics of color, and outline the color-based structure of people’s relationship to their culture and environment. After creating 3-color combinations using 130 color samples (10 Hues x 12 Tones, plus 10 Neutrals) to match certain adjectival themes, the participants will work in groups to analyze the results according to Color Image Scale. Through this exercise exposing the audience to the vast possibility of color combinations, and through the following discussion, the workshop will offer new insights into the semantics of color.