Although the term ‘technicolor’ has sometimes been incorrectly used to mean colour motion picture films in general, it is in fact a trade mark referring to the products and processes of an organization which has specialized in this field since 1915, and which since 1926 has been particularly associated with the manufacture of colour prints for the professional cinema by the dye transfer or imbibition process.

The Technicolor system was initially a two-colour system; it employed a beam-splitting camera to provide three colour-separation negatives from which matrices were made for dye transfer. After the introduction in 1951 of integral tri-pack materials special cameras were no longer necessary, and since that time most Technicolor dye transfer printing has been carried out using matrices prepared direct from original colour negatives.

In 1978 Technicolor abandoned the use of dye transfer materials and now uses integral tri-pack materials in the duplicating process like any other laboratory. Also see Two-Colour Process