Understanding colour can help us all design striking websites, online adverts and printed material. The key to this is to know the application of your job, whether its for print or for web. You want your marketing materials or branding to be as accurate to the design you see on screen as possible.
When it comes to choosing colours, we must ensure that we start our design using the right profile.
Here are the differences between colour profiles for web and print:
CMYK is a four-colour printing process that uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink. It is used when designing media that will be printed. Such as Leaflets, Brochures, Business Cards, Posters and all other printed products.
RGB is a mixture of Red, Green and Blue. It is the most popular colour profile for digital devices, such as cameras and computer screens. It is used for designing media for web. The RGB colour gamut can reach brighter colours than the CMYK gamut as it has millions of variations (colours) compared to just the thousands of printable variations of CMYK. Most computer screens are able to display most of the vast, vibrant colours of this gamut.
PMS is the Pantone Matching System used to match specialised colours on printed material. These colours are specially mixed inks or spot colours that can achieve a much brighter range than the CMYK gamut. These include florescent colours which are also very popular in modern print. They are only suitable for lithographic printing as they can not be reproduced on digital or inkjet printers as this technology can only use the CMYK gamut.
Knowing how colour palettes work is key to any graphic design project.
For more information about colour or any other design questions you may have, please feel free to contact us on