Color Models And Color Spaces
COLOR MODELS & COLOR SPACES
A color model is a mathematical way that colors can be represented using numbers. When a color model is used with specific parameters it is called a color space.
Example: Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) is a color model. sRGB is a color space that defines a specific range of Red, Green, and Blue colors that can be displayed on a screen.
sRGB was created by Microsoft and HP in 1996. It is the most common and accurate RGB color space.
CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) is a color model used for printing color. CMYK was invented in 1906 by the Eagle Printing Ink Company. It is a “subtractive” model, which means that it is made up of “impure” colors that absorb light. There are many different CMYK color spaces that are used for different presses and sets of inks.
RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is a color model used for for displaying color on a screen. RGB is an “additive” model made up of “pure” colors, which means that when all three colors are combined, the result is white. Common color spaces for the RGB color model include sRGB and Adobe RGB, among others.
Lab (or CIELAB) color model is defined with three variables: L - lightness ranging from black to white, a - ranging from green to red, and b - ranging from blue to yellow. Lab color includes all colors in the spectrum, including colors that are outside human perception.
HEX (hexadecimal) is a color space used for for displaying color on a web page. HEX is an RGB based color space that converts RGB values into code for web design.
Pantone is a color matching system used to standardize colors for printing. The Pantone company was founded in 1962 by Lawrence Herbert. By using the Pantone Matching System (PMS), designers and printers can work in the same color space to ensure accurate reproduction of design.
Defining Colors Using different color models and color spaces, a single color can be defined in many different ways. In design you will find yourself working across a wide variety of color spaces depending on the needs of the design.