The FM 100 Hue Test is a seemingly simple test of your ability to discern close hue relationships, a sort of “color IQ test”.
It consists of four bands of small squares of varying colors. Each band represents a scale of colors between two specific hues, represented by fixed squares at either end.
The task is to rearrange the drag-and-drop squares within each row to set them in the appropriate order of hue.
When you get down to the fine discrimination between hues that are very close, it becomes harder than it seems at first.
You get a score at the end, “0″ being perfect, and the opportunity to compare your score to others of your gender and age group. There is also a feature, that I was unable to take advantage of because I came up with a perfect score, that allows you to see the color ranges within which you had the most difficulty discerning the close hue relationships.
Scorekeeping and the game-like element aside, this is an enlightening exercise in comparing closely related hues, something of concern to anyone working in color, particularly painters looking to match the colors they see when mixing paint.
One of the keys that helped me with the exercise was not being shy about moving closely related colors side to side after they were in position, making it a bit easier to compare them briefly in a different context. Many of the color squares, arranged in their correct relationship, can appear identical until you shift them one position to the right or left. That in itself is an interesting phenomenon.
As always when viewing or judging color, whether in isolation, on a palette, in a digital color picker or in a painting, the important factor is the relationship of a color to its adjacent colors.