Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

RGB vs. CMYK

From: Foundations of Color

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.

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Color
Foundations of Color

42 video lessons · 16873 viewers

Mary Jane Begin
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Color.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.