Electrochromic materials are characterized by their colour changes upon applied voltage. Colour can mean many things: a certain kind of light, its effect on the human eye, or the result of this effect in the mind of the viewer. Since the electrochromic materials are developed towards real life applications it is relevant to characterize them with the usual commercial colour standards. A colorimetric study of electrogenerated Prussian blue and electrogenerated polymers based on salen-type complexes of Cu(II), Ni(II) and Pd(H) deposited over transparent flexible electrodes of polyethylene terephthalate coated with indium tin oxide (PET/ITO electrodes) was carried out using the CIELAB coordinates. A cuvette with a designed adapter to allow potentiostatic control was placed on an integrating sphere installed in the sample compartment of a spectrophotometer to run the colorimetric measurements. The colour evolution in situ was measured through the transmittance of the films by potentiostatic control. Chronocoutometry/chronoabsorptometry was used to evaluate maximum coloration efficiencies for the coloration step: 184 (Pd), 161 (Cu) and 83 cm(2)/C (Ni) and for bleaching: 199 (Pd), 212 (Cu) and 173 cm(2)/C (Ni) of the Pd, Cu and Ni polymer films, respectively. The Prussian Blue/Prussian White states over the PET/ITO films were relatively reversible while the reversibility and stability of the polymers based on the metals salen-type complexes depends on the metal, Pd being the most stable. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.