Understanding RGB 101

For graphic designers, there are many different terms used to measure and describe colour. RGB is one of the most common and most important colour modes, as this is how our computer monitors display images and texts. That’s why it’s so important to understand RGB and how it differs from CMYK if you’re interested in the story behind your designs. This will also impact the way that your finished products appear. In this week’s article, we’re going to give you a breakdown of RGB so that you’re never in the dark.


The basics

The RGB color model is based on the theory that all visible colors can be created using the primary additive colors of red, green, and blue. These colors are known as ‘primary additives’ because when they are combined in equal amounts they produce white. When two or three of them are combined in different amounts, other colors are produced.

For example, combining red and green in equal amounts creates yellow, green and blue creates cyan, and red and blue creates magenta. These particular formulae create the CMYK colors used in printing. As you change the amount of red, green and blue you are presented with new colors. The combinations provide an endless array of colors. Additionally, when one of these primary additive colors is not present, you get black.

Using RGB in graphic design

The RGB model is important to graphic design because it is used in computer monitors. The screen you are reading this very article on is using additive colors to display images and text.

That is why your monitor allows you to adjust only the red, green, and blue colors and your monitor’s color calibrator measures screens of these three colors as well. Therefore, when designing websites and other on-screen projects such as presentations, the RGB model is used because the final product is viewed on a computer display.

If, however, you are designing for print, you will use the CMYK color model. When designing a project that will be viewed both on screen and in print, you will need to convert the print copy to CMYK.

If you’re unsure about how to use colour modes effectively, you can always enlist the help of a professional. That’s where 1Print comes in. 1Print offers a cost effective printing service, as well as professional design assistance to ensure your business puts its best foot forward. Get in touch today via 1300 327 471 for your next project.