Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Ming Ronnier Luo

Richter, Manfred

  • Rolf G. Kuehni
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-8071-7_343


Richter was born on August 7, 1905, in Dresden, Germany, where he studied technical physics under Robert Luther at the Technical University from 1924 to 1933. The subject of his doctoral dissertation was Goethe’s Farbenlehre as related to scientific problems. [1] In 1927, as an assistant in the department of color research of the German Institute of Textile Research and following Helmholtz’ assistant Arthur König, he developed an international bibliography of publications in color science, an effort he continued until the mid-1950s [2]. In 1934, he began work in the laboratories of the lamp manufacturer OSRAM in Berlin. In 1943, he transitioned to the Materialprüfungsanstalt (Office for testing of materials), later named Bundesanstalt für Materialprüfung (BAM), where he remained until 1962 and where he organized a color research laboratory. In 1941, he was asked by Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN, German institution for industrial standards) to develop a standard color system and atlas, an effort that kept him occupied for an extended period of time. It is known as DIN6164 today. He was also a professor at the Institut für Lichttechnik (Institute for lighting technology) of the Berlin Technical University. In 1949, he was a founding member of the Fachnormenausschuss Farbe (FNF, Color standards committee). He was a leading member of Deutsche farbwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft (DfwG, German society for color science, founded in 1974) and a founding member of the journal Die Farbe (1951–2003). He was a member of the directorial board of the International Association of Colour (AIC) and active in several research committees of the International Association of Illumination (CIE). His passing on April 20, 1990, was the result of a traffic accident.

Major Accomplishments/Contributions

DIN6164: Richter’s plan for a standard object color system and atlas was that it needed to be based on well-supported colorimetric data and the latest insights into color order. A starting point was Ostwald’s color atlas and the Luther-Nyberg optimal object color solid. The system was to be perceptually uniform. As perceptual parameters he selected hue (T), saturation (S), and degree of darkness (D). Lacking a satisfactory colorimetric model of hue scaling he proceeded to experimentally determine a constant saturation contour in the CIE chromaticity diagram separated into 24 perceptually equal hue differences. He then scaled saturation from the neutral point to the spectral limit into up to 16 levels. The darkness scale D is based on logarithmic scaling of the relative brightness value scale proposed in 1928 by S. Rösch. It has a value of 0 for white and 10 for black. A schematic cross section of the system is shown in Fig. 1.
Richter, Manfred, Fig. 1

Schematic representation of the samples of hues T1 and T16 in the S, D diagram (Ref. [3])

Atlases were published in 1960/62 with matte samples and 1978/83 with glossy samples. Figure 2 shows a 3D model of the system. As its name indicates, DIN6164 is a German industrial standard system.
Richter, Manfred, Fig. 2

3D representation of the samples of the DIN6164 system. © Eckhard Bendin

Publications: In 1940 Richter published a book on color science, with the cooperation of I. Schmidt and A. Dresler, that presented the subject in at that time likely the most comprehensive and detailed form. [4] Given the Second World War it was never translated into English. In 1976, he published Einführung in die Farbmetrik (Introduction to color metrics) [5].


  1. 1.
    Richter, M.: Das Schrifttum über Goethes Farbenlehre, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der naturwissenschaftlichen Probleme. Pfau, Berlin (1938)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Richter, M.: Internationale Bibliographie der Farbenlehre und ihrer Grenzgebiete, 2 vols, Musterschmidt, Göttingen (1940–1949 and 1950–1954)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Richter, M., Witt, K.: The story of the DIN color system. Color Research and Application 11, 138–148 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Richter, M. (with collaboration of I. Schmidt and A. Dresler). Grundriss der Farbenlehre der Gegenwart (Basics of the color science of the present). Steinkopff, Dresden (1940)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Richter, M.: Einführung in die Farbmetrik. de Gruyter, Berlin (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CharlotteUSA