Hempel Paints (Saudi Arabia) has relaunched its Flat Emulsion in a hi-tech acrylic version that can also be precisely coloured to a customer's choice using a sophisticated tinting system.

''The new Acrylic Flat Emulsion 58710 benefits from improved whiteness and better hiding power together with improved application properties,'' explains marketing manager Colin Harris. ''Based on the latest acrylic resin, the emulsion is approved by the Saudi Arabian Standards Organisation (Saso) for both internal and external use.''

Elaborating on its development, he continues: ''The existing Hempel's Flat Emulsion 58710 has had a long and successful track record in Saudi Arabia, satisfying customer's requirements for a good quality interior/exterior flat emulsion. Its development into an acrylic resin came after extensive trials and testing at Hempel's decorative research and development facilities in Barcelona, Spain, and after intensive customer testing in Saudi Arabia. The final results were very impressive and the new formula has just been launched.

''The new product, as well as being available in a range of stock colours, can also be tinted to any NCS colour on Hempel's Decor Tint system. Hempel has chosen to use the NCS system because it is the most developed colour system on the market today. The NCS system is based on man's ability to recognise six elementary colours which are white, black, red, yellow, green and blue. Within this six-point colour matrix, it is possible to denote all the 10 million colours that the eye can distinguish. Further, all these colours can be defined in terms of how they relate to these six colours. For example, NCS colour code S 0580-Y20R means 5 per cent blackness, 80 per cent chromaticness, yellow with 20 per cent of redness, or NCS colour code S 1005-B40G means 10 per cent blackness, 5 per cent chromaticness, blue with 40 per cent of greenness. Thus, it is very simple to understand, with the major benefit that the colour codes are meaningful to the user.

''Using this system, designers can avoid misunderstandings with their clients. Customer descriptions of colours such as marine blue, aqua blue or chocolate brown can be precisely defined by the NCS system rather than relying on someone's perception of that colour.

The NCS systems allows the application of simple design guidelines. Colours tends to work together if they have the same levels of blackness and also match as complementary colours if they have the same proportion of chromaticness.

''Designers can also choose from various groups of colours in the colour wheel, for example, by making a colour scheme based on the same proportions of red and yellow, but varying the blackness.

''With some 1,750 colours in the NCS range, the interior designer has a large choice from which to select. Hempel also has the facility, should the designer so desire, to match any colour, which need not be an existing paint, but could be a fabric sample, for example.

''The matching is achieved by scanning the item with a spectrophotometer, a colour formulation is then produced, which is entered into the computer that controls Hempel's Decor Tint machine. This allows the system to dispense the exact colour. This facility allows designers the freedom to produce whatever colour they require as well as producing their own unique colour schemes.''

Hempel is currently is conducting a specially-designed colour course for all its dealers in all major cities.

''The idea is to present some of the colour theories and their importance in our daily life and in the paint industry in particular, and to explain the logical structure of NCS,'' says Harris. ''The lectures are supported by practical exercises designed to develop people's understanding of colour.''