Color is complex. For something so instrumental to the lives, the world of color is a deep rabbit hole of subtle nuances and inconsistent schools of thought. I have invariably been captivated by color and the various mediums its delivered through. During the research phase of the color conversion tools for Brandisty, the various complexities of color became very apparent. In this post, we explore color at a high level and arm you with a number of the technical details you should know about color as well as your brand.
Color could be represented in a huge selection of models. Each one of these designs have different color spaces. At a high level, this can be what you ought to learn about color models:
Digital: color as display by light.
Print: color represented with ink.
Perceptual: color as perceived through the eye.
The colour spectrum a persons eye can interpret surpasses so what can be presented within both digital and print color models. Just how color is perceived can also be subjective and can differ individual to individual. Pantone Color Book is usually employed to convert color between digital and print color models. This can be regularly accomplished using ICC color profiles.
Converting between color spaces for a number of devices is a fairly complex process. Its difficult to represent colors shown on digital screen via printed mediums. Each printer has slightly different capabilities when mixing ink, and every medium being printed on (i.e. coated vs. uncoated paper, shirts, mugs, etc.) will respond differently towards the ink.
Not long ago the International Color Consortium (ICC) was formed to tackle the situation. A quick little history using their about page:
The International Color Consortium was established in 1993 by eight industry vendors with regards to creating, promoting and encouraging the standardization and evolution of an open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management system architecture and components. The result with this co-operation was the growth of the ICC profile specification.
The 1st time I read that, it blew my thoughts. We have a color consortium attempting to standardize how the world uses color?! Who will of thought?
ICC color profiles are widely used for color conversion between digital and print devices. Whenever using various printers, you could be sent a certain device ICC profile to calibrate your print job with. Two common workspace color profiles for digital and print are:
These profiles are often the defaults on most Adobe products, and therefore are usually already installed on your pc. The download links are provided for reference.
Each color mode has numerous color spaces. Color spaces represent color in different formats. For instance, the purple block displayed can be represented in both digital (left side) and print (right side) making use of the following values:
In terms of branding you will likely encounter color represented within the following formats:
RGB (digital): RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue and refers to the user of color generated by light. Its not all representations of light are equal, and the way color appears from a single digital device to the next can look like different. To completely have consistent digital color, each device will need to be calibrated. RGB values will typically be represented with three digits between and 255; although you will sometimes encounter three values between and 1 in decimal form.
Hex (digital): Hexadecimal format is merely one other way of representing RGB values. Typically you will notice Hex values starting with a hash (#) accompanied by either three or six alpha numeric characters eysabm from -9 and a-f.
CMYK (print): CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black) and is the most common print color space. CMYK could be a bit inconsistent from device to device because the color has been blended during print. Each printing device has different capabilities, in order to achieve print perfection each device will have to be calibrated. CMYK values will typically be represented with four digits between -100; though you will sometimes encounter three values between and 1 in decimal form.
PANTONE (print): Is actually a proprietary color space used primarily within the printing industry but also has been utilized with manufacturing colored paint, plastics and fabric. When brands will likely be utilized in print, its a really good idea to select PANTONE colors. The main advantage of PANTONE over CMYK is PANTONE colors are premixed, where CMYK colors are mixed during print. Using PANTONE colors, a brand name can maintain color consistency since PANTONE is usually in charge of mixing the ink color. PANTONE color values could be represented in a variety of ways, but typically get started with either PMS or PANTONE and result in either C for Coated or U for Uncoated.
Color goes deep, however its a vital component of just how a brand is recognized. With all the information above you will be furnished with the knowledge required to maintain color consistency as your brand is spread through various mediums.