IXD103 Week 5

Week 5 – Color

This week we looked at Color. We began by looking at Color systems and how its created in print along with which system is best suited to which task.


Stands for “Cyan Magenta Yellow Black.” These are the four basic colors used for printing color images. Unlike RGB (red, green, blue), which is used for creating images on your computer screen, CMYK colors are “subtractive.” This means the colors get darker as you blend them together.

  • Four-color printing process
  • Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black
  • 4 plates used in the printing press
  • Colors mixed to make up black/dark colors
    (subtractive color system)


The Pantone Color System, or PMS, is a standardized color matching system, which is widely used around the world. It was devised to help printers and designers specify and control colors for printing projects. The Pantone Color System allows you to specify colors that cannot be mixed in traditional CMYK.

  • Manages of color from design to production
  • Used in printing
  • Can be specified as a brand color
  • Consistency of brand color reproduction
  • Standardized system


RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. We use 6 color printers that can use the additional information the RGB color gamut provides, so we prefer RGB images.

  • Used in screen and electronic display
  • Colors formed using 3 light beams of various
    intensity to compose the color
  • Colors mixed to make up white
    (additive color system)
  • RGB is an extension of RGB color values with
    an alpha channel – which specifies the
    opacity for a color


RAL is an European color matching system which defines colors for paint, coatings and plastics. The RAL color standard is administrated by the RAL Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung. ‘RAL’ is the abbreviation of ‘Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung’.

  • Used mainly for powder coating, varnish
    and plastic coloring
  • For physical products that need to be coated
  • You might use this if you require something
    to be painted in your brand colors like a
    product or interior


A HEX color is expressed as a six-digit combination of numbers and letters defined by its mix of red, green, and blue (RGB). Basically, a HEX color code is shorthand for its RGB values with a little conversion gymnastics in between.

  • Used in displaying web pages
  • Colors may be specified as an RGB triplet
    or in hexadecimal format
  • Displayed in 6 digits with # preceeding it
    #FFFFFF (White) #000000 (Black)
  • Can be used to specify colors in CSS or HTML



CMYK – Printing

Pantone – Printing & Design

RGB – Electronic Displays

RAL – Powder/Varnish Coat Interior Design

Hexadecimal – Web Pages


Useful Links


Colorful things I like:

What I took from this:

I’ve always enjoyed using color and only recently understood the importance of color and its effect on size, shape, and emotion. I took a great interest in the use of color in illustrations as I began to delve into computer illustrations and seeing the vast possibilities offered by digital art. Some of the pages I follow on Instagram create an almost paint-like style of digital art with amazing color and light.


What I Learnt:

I’ve always used colors from pallets etc but I never thought of how they can affect someone’s perception of a brand and how they can be used to communicate the company’s persona. After this lecture, I’m thinking of changing the colors that I’m using for my brand as I used bright vibrant colors, and personally, I’m not too fond of super vibrant colors in the design. This makes me think of changing the color of my logo to some high-contrast colors.



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