Color is complex. For something so instrumental to the lives, the world of color is a deep rabbit hole of subtle nuances and inconsistent ways of thinking. I have invariably been fascinated with color and also the various mediums its delivered through. During the research phase of the color conversion tools for Brandisty, the many complexities of color became very apparent. In this post, we explore color at a top level and arm you with a number of the technical details you must know about color as well as your brand.
Color could be represented in a huge selection of models. Each of these models have different color spaces. With a very high level, this is what you ought to find out about color models:
Digital: color as display by light.
Print: color represented with ink.
Perceptual: color as perceived by the eye.
The colour spectrum the human eye can interpret surpasses exactly what can be presented within both digital and print color models. The way color is perceived is also subjective and can differ individual to individual. Pantone Color Book is frequently used to convert color between digital and print color models. This can be regularly accomplished using ICC color profiles.
Converting between color spaces for many different devices is a fairly complex process. Its challenging to represent colors displayed 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 fast bit of history from their about page:
The International Color Consortium was established in 1993 by eight industry vendors just for creating, promoting and encouraging the standardization and evolution of the open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management system architecture and components. The end result of the co-operation was the growth of the ICC profile specification.
The 1st time I read that, it blew my mind. We have a color consortium trying to standardize how the world uses color?! Who will of thought?
ICC color profiles are now popular for color conversion between digital and print devices. When you use various printers, you may 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 usually the defaults of all Adobe products, and they are usually already installed on your computer. The download links are offered for reference.
Each color mode has numerous color spaces. Color spaces represent color in various formats. For instance, the purple block displayed could be represented both in digital (left side) and print (right side) using the following values:
With regards to branding you will most likely encounter color represented within the following formats:
RGB (digital): RGB is short for Red, Green, Blue and refers back to the user of color generated by light. Not all representations of light are equal, and the way color appears from one digital device to another can look like different. To completely have consistent digital color, each device would need to be calibrated. RGB values will typically be represented with three digits between and 255; even though you will sometimes encounter three values between and 1 in decimal form.
Hex (digital): Hexadecimal format is simply another way of representing RGB values. Typically you will see Hex values starting with a hash (#) followed by either three or six alpha numeric characters eysabm from -9 along with a-f.
CMYK (print): CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black) and is the most common print color space. CMYK can be a bit inconsistent from device to device since the color is being blended during print. Each printing device has different capabilities, so to achieve print perfection each device will have to be calibrated. CMYK values will typically be represented with four digits between -100; although you will sometimes encounter three values between and 1 in decimal form.
PANTONE (print): Is really a proprietary color space used primarily inside the printing industry but in addition has been utilized with manufacturing colored paint, plastics and fabric. When brands will likely be used in print, its a very good idea to pick 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 brandname can maintain color consistency since PANTONE is usually responsible for mixing the ink color. PANTONE color values could be represented in a variety of ways, but typically start with either PMS or PANTONE and lead to either C for Coated or U for Uncoated.
Color goes deep, but its a vital part of the way a brand is recognized. Using the information above you will be furnished with the information essential to maintain color consistency as the brand is spread through various mediums.