By the early 1950s a considerable amount of research and experimentation had been carried out into the methodical use of colour in buildings. Lessons had also been learnt from scientific research into lighting and vision. The result was to show that colour, if properly understood and successfully applied, could be made to do much more than merely cover and provide a finish to surfaces. It could make a direct and positive contribution to the design of a building.
The Royal Institute of British Architects and British Colour Council were approached for advice on a range of colours that might be suitable. After a number of prototypes, a standard collection of 101 colours was proposed. These colours are from that range.