Designing CMYK in an RGB Environment

Managing color in a brochure, which displays different samples of wallpaper, can be challenging. This is because the monitor display (RGB) is quite different than what most printed color (CMYK). The major difference is that RGB color which appears on a monitor is additive color where the Red, Green, Blue colors are combine to create different colors or add all together to create white. Subtractive color is where cyan, magenta, yellow and back colors are absorbed or removed to leave other colors reflecting their various wavelengths back to a viewer.

The key in this example is to maintain the color in the brochure sample with the actual colors in the wallpaper. First the digital sample might need adjusted. Using levels and curves in Photoshop is one way to manage color. Levels are adjusted to ensure there is an adequate range of tones in the photo. The gamma can then be remapped to darken or lighten the image. If an image has a color cast that need removed it can quickly be adjusted in the curves pallet. Manual color correction can be difficult especially as it greatly depends on personal preference of color. Another way is to use profiles. Profiles are a great resource for managing color as it embeds the information in the data to guarantee it prints properly. The only thing about using color profiles is the printer must have the software that supports profiles.

To ensure the color in the brochure is accurate to the actual color I would use pantone colors and match up the CMYK to match. Pantone colors are published in swatch books and are used as a standard to match the correct color. There is a CMYK mixture for every pantone color. These mixes create standards for designer struggling to merge the worlds of CMYK and RGB and have brochure colors match the actual product.

AIO Lecture Week 2

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