Have you ever picked what you thought was the right color on your computer screen, only to have the printout look off, muddy, or just weird?

In the world of digital imagery, considering the final destination for the image, logo, or design will help you determine the right color profile. To help you navigate through color, check out GROWL’s color guide.


RGB: Red, Green, and Blue

RGB is used primarily for digital design. Computers, TVs, and smartphones use red, green, and blue to project using light. When the colors are combined, they create different hues or tones. Adjusting the brightness up to 100% creates white, and 0% brightness creates black. As calibration differs per screen, you can never expect graphics to be identical across devices and in print. For proper printing, the color profile must change to CMYK.


CMYK: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key

For any printed material, CMYK should be used. In this profile, “key” doesn’t stand for a color; it represents the key plate. This plate is usually black and adds contrast and details on the final images. For example, the printer at your office uses different inks, creating a plethora of colors when mixed. Depending on the type of printer and ink, ink levels, paper type, and your printer’s mood, the final product varies. This is a concern when you are building a brand since the colors play a huge role in representing who you are. The best system for choosing colors that will look right over and over is using PMS.


PMS-Pantone Matching System

This is a universal color matching system provided by the Pantone Color Institute. The Institute offers insight into color matching, palette recommendations, color trends, and custom color specifically for brand identity. They are used often as a resource for companies looking to build a color palette that fits their branding. PMS is used to ensure that colors in a design are represented the same way across all platforms. Every color has its own code and is pre-mixed so that the color you expect is the color that viewers see everywhere. This is important to know because, your brand, your logo, your colors are something worth protecting, and being sure that they are true to your brand everywhere that people will see them is vital.


RGB, CMYK, PMS are the standards of color profiling systems that are used in the design world to create vibrant imagery. Identifying your brand through color is tricky, but understanding the different color systems and how they work will make it easier.


Need help developing your brand identity? Contact the GROWL branding experts today.

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