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RGB vs. CMYK


From:

Foundations of Color

with Mary Jane Begin

Video: RGB vs. CMYK

When we talk about light in an image, we're usually referring to the illusion of light created by an artist. But what if the light is real? When you look at an image on your computer screen, it's color could be shockingly different from what appears on a printed page. Light emanating through an image creates a vibrant quality that's difficult to match on paper. This translation is different mechanically. It's CMYK for print and RGB for digital. CMYK refers to the four inks used in most color printing.
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  1. 5m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Traditional media to digital: The long and winding road of color
      3m 48s
    3. Exercise files
      22s
  2. 14m 40s
    1. Introduction: How color shapes meaning
      2m 23s
    2. Universal, cultural, and personal symbols of color
      2m 52s
    3. Concepts made clear
      4m 1s
    4. Brand identity and language
      2m 53s
    5. Sequence and pattern
      2m 31s
  3. 14m 18s
    1. What is the color wheel?
      2m 20s
    2. Primary colors, primary concerns
      3m 59s
    3. Playing with complementary colors
      3m 40s
    4. Tertiary colors: The basics of brown and gray
      4m 19s
  4. 17m 20s
    1. An overview of elements
      2m 48s
    2. Value is not a moral judgment
      2m 26s
    3. Saturation to neutralization
      3m 22s
    4. Temperature: How hot is hot?
      3m 12s
    5. Textures, marks, dashes, and dots
      2m 59s
    6. Seeing through color: Opaque, translucent, and transparent
      2m 33s
  5. 12m 25s
    1. What is contrast?
      3m 10s
    2. Creating focus: Living on the edge
      1m 15s
    3. Creating the readable image
      4m 6s
    4. Connecting contrast with content
      3m 54s
  6. 17m 29s
    1. Illuminating light
      1m 54s
    2. The effect of contrast in light
      1m 53s
    3. Value and saturation
      2m 27s
    4. On temperature
      2m 58s
    5. On complements
      2m 10s
    6. Secondary and reflected light
      3m 5s
    7. RGB vs. CMYK
      3m 2s
  7. 14m 24s
    1. An introduction to palettes
      2m 15s
    2. Limited palettes: A harmonious color palette
      2m 35s
    3. Harmony and discord
      2m 33s
    4. Unifying color grounds
      2m 40s
    5. Unifying glazes and layers
      2m 13s
    6. Charting a color family
      2m 8s
  8. 20m 25s
    1. Balance of shapes: How much is too much?
      3m 36s
    2. Weaving textural color
      2m 50s
    3. Color in context
      2m 31s
    4. Color blindness
      3m 15s
    5. Challenge: Deconstructing color
      1m 28s
    6. Solution: Demo of deconstructing color
      6m 45s
  9. 1m 3s
    1. Conclusion
      1m 3s

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Watch the Online Video Course Foundations of Color
1h 57m Beginner Aug 20, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Color is a fundamental element of our lives. Understanding how to use it for visual communication in a variety of contexts is essential for designers and artists. This course is about learning how to use color, not only to create more effective designs, but also to tell a story. Illustrator, professor, and author Mary Jane Begin explains how color intertwines with brand identity, how it affects the mood of a piece and directs the viewer's attention to areas of interest, and how it can connect images or create space between elements. She removes the mystery surrounding the color wheel and color relationships; shows how to layer, mix, and digitally alter color; and use light to integrate temperature, translucency, and contrast.

These lessons are applicable to a number of fields, including graphic design, photography, and illustration, and both traditional and digital media. Dive in and get a fresh look at color that is sure to revitalize your creativity and your work.

Topics include:
  • Understanding why color is essential for you as an artist, designer, or human being
  • Storytelling with color
  • Understanding brand identity and color language
  • Reviewing the history of color usage, from print to digital
  • Working with the color wheel
  • Understanding value, saturation, and temperature
  • Seeing through color: opaque, translucent, and transparent
  • Creating contrast
  • Exploring depth of field
  • Seeing complementary relationships in light
  • Achieving harmony and discord in a palette
  • Understanding color blindness
Subject:
Design
Author:
Mary Jane Begin

RGB vs. CMYK

When we talk about light in an image, we're usually referring to the illusion of light created by an artist. But what if the light is real? When you look at an image on your computer screen, it's color could be shockingly different from what appears on a printed page. Light emanating through an image creates a vibrant quality that's difficult to match on paper. This translation is different mechanically. It's CMYK for print and RGB for digital. CMYK refers to the four inks used in most color printing.

Cyan, magenta, yellow and key. Key's actually black, the k being for the last letter of the word and is considered subtractive color. Because the colors take away from the brightness of the white paper. This process is used for traditional printing. RGB is an additive color process because it refers to the red, blue and green light that is added together to reproduce an array of colors. This process is used for digitally displayed images. Let's look at a traditional book that I retold and illustrated and developed as an app, The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

This is a challenge to demonstrate to you because you're obviously viewing this on a screen not on a piece of paper. But if you look at the original paintings, then printed with CMYK color printing process. And then a scanned version of the print displayed on the iPad. You can see the difference between each form. Light literally bounces off the physical images because they were painted in acrylic and watercolor. The acrylic gloss aids in creating transparency and depth of color, much like the masters were able to achieve in glazing in linseed oil, turpentine and oil paint.

But the glazing can be problematic when printing if the light reflects off the surface and reveals uneven tones and a washed out reflected section like this. If we compare it to the printed page, the colors are less vibrant than the original art because the inks on the paper can only achieve so much saturation. And the coded stock of the paper does not have the added benefit of the original glaze enhancing the luminosity of the color. If the page had a shiny coating it might mimick the glaze but the paper is still limited by the ability of the inks to soak in and not through the thin paper stock of the book.

Books tend to have imagery on both sides of the pages so soaking through would not be ideal. If we then compare this to the app made by DemiBooks, the difference in color is remarkable. The glowing light of the device enhances the quality of luminosity much like light passing through a stained glass window. Clothes appear more vibrant. Remembering to make sure that your computer is set to CMYK for print versions and RGB for digital one basic solution for color to be true. Well, the surfaces will never look exactly alike because of the issue of light.

Understanding the mechanics that you can tinker with to get the color just right from one display to another helps if you are aware of the specific settings involved.

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