Color is complex. For something so instrumental to our lives, the world of color is a deep rabbit hole of subtle nuances and inconsistent ways of thinking. I have been attracted to 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 article, we explore color at a top level and arm you with some of the technical details you need to know about color along with your brand.
Color could be represented in a wide array of models. Each one of these designs include different color spaces. At a high level, this is what you should know about color models:
Digital: color as display by light.
Print: color represented with ink.
Perceptual: color as perceived from the eye.
The color spectrum the human eye can interpret surpasses so what can be presented in both digital and print color models. The way in which color is perceived is additionally subjective and can differ individual to individual. Pantone Color Book is frequently employed to convert color between digital and print color models. This is regularly accomplished using ICC 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 each 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 issue. A fast little bit of history off 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 your open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management system architecture and components. The end result with this co-operation was the creation of the ICC profile specification.
The 1st time I read that, it blew my mind. There exists a color consortium working to standardize how the world uses color?! Who will of thought?
ICC color profiles are actually popular 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 usually the defaults on many Adobe products, and therefore are usually already installed on your computer. The download links are supplied for reference.
Each color mode has several color spaces. Color spaces represent color in different formats. For example, the purple block displayed can be represented in both digital (left side) and print (right side) making use of the following values:
With regards to branding you will in all probability encounter color represented in the following formats:
RGB (digital): RGB means Red, Green, Blue and means the user of color generated by light. Its not all representations of light are equal, and the way color appears from one 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; even though you will sometimes encounter three values between and 1 in decimal form.
Hex (digital): Hexadecimal format is simply yet another way of representing RGB values. Typically you will notice Hex values beginning with a hash (#) then 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 regarded as the common print color space. CMYK can be quite a bit inconsistent from device to device because the color will be blended at the time of print. Each printing device has different capabilities, in order to achieve print perfection each device must 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 in the printing industry but also has been used with manufacturing colored paint, plastics and fabric. When brands will likely be used in print, its a very 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 accountable for mixing the ink color. PANTONE color values can be represented in various ways, but typically start with either PMS or PANTONE and end in either C for Coated or U for Uncoated.
Color goes deep, however its a crucial element of how a brand is recognized. Using the information above you will be equipped with the information required to maintain color consistency when your brand is spread through various mediums.