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 captivated by color and 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 higher level and arm you with a few of the technical details you need to know about color and your brand.
Color may be represented in a wide range of models. Each one of these designs have different color spaces. In a very high level, this is what you need to know about color models:
Digital: color as display by light.
Print: color represented with ink.
Perceptual: color as perceived by the eye.
The color spectrum the human eye can interpret surpasses exactly what can be presented both in digital and print color models. Just how color is perceived is additionally subjective and may differ individual to individual. Pantone Color Book is often used to convert color between digital and print color models. This really is regularly accomplished using ICC color profiles.
Converting between color spaces for a number of devices is a pretty complex process. Its hard to represent colors shown on digital screen via printed mediums. Each printer has slightly different capabilities when mixing ink, and each and every medium being printed on (i.e. coated vs. uncoated paper, shirts, mugs, etc.) will respond differently to the ink.
Not long ago the International Color Consortium (ICC) was formed to tackle the issue. A quick little 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 your open, vendor-neutral, cross-platform color management system architecture and components. The result of the co-operation was the development of the ICC profile specification.
The 1st time I read that, it blew my head. We have a color consortium working to standardize how the world uses color?! Would you of thought?
ICC color profiles are now popular for color conversion between digital and print devices. When you use various printers, you might be sent a particular 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 many Adobe products, and they are usually already installed on your personal computer. The download links are offered for reference.
Each color mode has lots of color spaces. Color spaces represent color in a variety of formats. For instance, the purple block displayed could 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 in the following formats:
RGB (digital): RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue and means the user of color generated by light. Not all representations of light are equal, and how color appears from one digital device to the next can look like different. To completely have consistent digital color, each device would have 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 merely another way of representing RGB values. Typically you will see Hex values beginning from a hash (#) followed by either three or six alpha numeric characters eysabm from -9 and a-f.
CMYK (print): CMYK means Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black) and is easily the most common print color space. CMYK can be quite a bit inconsistent from device to device as the color has been blended during 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; though you will sometimes encounter three values between and 1 in decimal form.
PANTONE (print): Is 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 is going to be found in print, its a really good idea to select PANTONE colors. The benefit 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 always in charge of mixing the ink color. PANTONE color values could be represented in a variety of ways, but typically begin with either PMS or PANTONE and lead to either C for Coated or U for Uncoated.
Color goes deep, however its a vital element of how a brand is recognized. Using the information above you may be equipped with the knowledge required to maintain color consistency as the brand is spread through various mediums.