PR Tips | RGB versus CMYK

PR Tips | RGB versus CMYK

To anyone but a designer, RGB and CMKY probably just look like a bunch of letters, but they are essential to the design process — whether you’re creating a website, logo, brochure or business card.

So what’s the difference and what do these letters mean?

RGB is the color standard for digital display.

    * R-Red, G-Green, B-Blue
    * Created with light
    * Begins with black and color is added
    * Used for websites, television, e-mail, etc.

RGB colors are what are called additive colors. These colors are created by adding assorted wavelengths of light in differing degrees to darkness, or black.  They are also produced by two or more different colors.  As more color is added, the lighter, or closer to white, the final color becomes.  A good way to think about RGB is that the color you see is the effect of light, rather than an ink or a pigment.

CMYK is the color standard for print.

    * C-Cyan, M-Magenta, Y-Yellow, K-Black
    * Created with ink
    * Begins with white and color is added
    * Used for brochures, posters, flyers, etc.

CMYK colors are what are called subtractive colors. This means that a mix of colors is used to create a larger range of colors that are made by subtracting certain wavelengths of light.  In other words, the colors absorb pieces of light that are then not displayed.  What light is seen in their place is the color you see on the printed piece.

And why does a K stand for black and not a B?  Simple: to prevent people from confusing it with blue.




Kali Edwards