As a designer, selecting a specific colour reference is a vital benchmark when developing a brand. In this article, the first of a series, we examine the differences between colour formulas such as CMYK and RGB and their significant roles in graphic design and/or web design and web development.
Representation Of Colour
Firstly, it should be noted that colour represented on screen and even on paper, unfortunately isn’t an exact science, especially when it comes to electronic systems such as televisions, computer monitors, cameras, scanners etc. The same problem applies to paper, for example a coated paper can present colour differently than on uncoated paper. So a single colour can take on a different hue which will be largely dependent of its canvas.
There are of course solutions that require some understanding of colour management, colour profiles, calibration and ultimately adjust the input and output of a device or devices for consistent results.
It can be a headache, but the science of colour is an interesting and involving subject. There are three main colour disciplines used in graphic design, web design and the like. These are CMYK, RGB and solid colour.
The RGB colour mode is used to represent colour on electronic systems such as televisions and computer monitors. The initials in the RGB colour model are from the additive primary colours red, green and blue. They are combined to create a vast array of broad colours. Their digital nature, can make colour appear a lot brighter and more vibrant than printed colour.
To find out about the RGB colour mode in more detail visit Wikipedia
‘CMYK’ also known as ‘Cyan Magenta Yellow & Black’, ‘Full Colour’ or ‘Four Colour Process’. This is known as a subtractive colour mode, which uses four primary colours to make up a single colour and is the most common colour setting for printing.
It is used for print jobs such as magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, books, packaging, leaflets, labels etc. Half-toning, dithering and other technical methods are used to mix the colours to achieve the desired result.
To find out about the CYMK colour mode in more detail visit Wikipedia