There are all kinds of terms that your graphic designer, web designer or a printer might throw at you.
They expect you to know what the heck they are talking about.
One of these terms is RGB.
What is RGB?
The RGB color model is an additive color model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors, red, green, and blue.
RGB and the TV
I can remember being a kid and looking real close at the TV (don’t tell my mom). And if you looked real close, everything was red, blue or green. Just these three colors made up everything you saw. I was amazed. This is RGB.
RGB is the color space for light. Anything that uses or needs light to function – think TVs, computer monitors, projectors, digital cameras, and phones – will work with RGB.
Now what does this mean to you?
When artwork files are created, like your logo file, they are in a color format (or color space). Usually RGB or CMYK.
In order for colors to show properly you need to use the right color format.
If you are printing CMYK is a must.
If you are using the artwork on the web or in your email signature then you will want to use the RGB (but the CMYK file will work.) Just like the TV, your computer monitor uses RGB.
Why is RGB so important?
RGB has greater range of colors than CMYK. RGB can produce colors that are more vivid and vibrant.
These colors are beyond the range of CMYK. Colors will come out darker and more dull in print than what is seen on the monitor or display.
RGB colors, however, will not necessarily appear in print as they do on-screen.
Sometimes interchanging these files goes unnoticed. Other times there is a HUGE difference.
(in other words, don’t use an RBG logo file to print your business cards, or it might look shitty. And you will be scratching your head wondering what the heck happened).
Best practice it to have your graphic designer label every file RGB or CMKY for you.
Now when should you use RGB vs CMYK?
- Making an email signature? Use the RGB file.
- Making letterhead in Word to print out? Use the CMYK file.
- Adding your logo to Facebook? RGB.
- Sending your logo to print out a banner for your next event? CMYK.
Can’t remember which is which? Have your designer label them PRINT or WEB.
Your logo is the face of your company on the web and in print.
Make it look it’s best by using the correct color format for each use.
Have you ever had unexpected results using the wrong color file?
Any other tips on keeping color files in check?
What to know more about color spaces? Here are some resources: