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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 been captivated by color and also the various mediums its delivered through. During the research phase of the color conversion tools for Brandisty, the different complexities of color became very apparent. On this page, we explore color at a top level and arm you with a few of the technical details you must know about color as well as your brand.

Color models

Color can be represented in a wide array of models. Each of these designs include different color spaces. At a very high level, this is what you need to find out about color models:

Digital: color as display by light.

Print: color represented with ink.

Perceptual: color as perceived through the human eye.

Colour spectrum the human eye can interpret surpasses what can be presented both in digital and print color models. The way color is perceived is additionally subjective and can differ one individual to another. Pantone Color Book is frequently used to convert color between digital and print color models. This can be regularly accomplished using ICC color profiles.

Color profiles

Converting between color spaces for many different devices is a pretty 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 for the ink.

Not long ago the International Color Consortium (ICC) was formed to tackle the situation. A fast little bit of history off 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 the open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management system architecture and components. The result of the co-operation was the growth of the ICC profile specification.

The 1st time I read that, it blew my head. There exists a color consortium attempting to standardize just how the world uses color?! Would you of thought?

ICC color profiles are now widely used for color conversion between digital and print devices. When working with various printers, you might 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 generally the defaults on most Adobe products, and therefore are usually already installed on your personal computer. The download links are offered for reference.

Color spaces

Each color mode has numerous color spaces. Color spaces represent color in different formats. As an example, the purple block displayed can be represented both in digital (left side) and print (right side) utilizing the following values:

In terms of branding you will in all probability encounter color represented inside the following formats:

RGB (digital): RGB is short for Red, Green, Blue and refers to the user of color generated by light. Not all representations of light are equal, and exactly how color appears from a single digital device to the next can seem to be 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; even though you will sometimes encounter three values between and 1 in decimal form.

Hex (digital): Hexadecimal format is just another way of representing RGB values. Typically you will observe Hex values starting with a hash (#) followed 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 regarded as the common print color space. CMYK can be a bit inconsistent from device to device since the color has been blended at the time of print. Each printing device has different capabilities, to achieve print perfection each device will need to be calibrated. CMYK values will typically be represented with four digits between -100; even though you will sometimes encounter three values between and 1 in decimal form.

PANTONE (print): Is a proprietary color space used primarily within the printing industry but also has been used with manufacturing colored paint, plastics and fabric. When brands is going to be found in print, its a really good idea to choose 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 definitely responsible for mixing the ink color. PANTONE color values may be represented in different ways, but typically get started with either PMS or PANTONE and result in either C for Coated or U for Uncoated.

Color goes deep, nonetheless its a critical part of how a brand is recognized. Using the information above you may be equipped with the knowledge necessary to maintain color consistency as your brand is spread through various mediums.