Color and branding go hand in hand. When you think of Tiffany & Co, their iconic Robin’s egg blue comes straight to mind. When you think of Amazon, you picture their blue, orange and black color scheme that adorns everything under their name. When establishing your brand, it’s very important to also establish an exact set of colors that you will consistently use across all fronts. This helps your audience to identify your brand more easily and maintaining color consistency adds to the professional quality of your company.
Establishing a set of colors is done by determining the HEX, RGB, CMYK and Pantone numbers that you want to use for your brand. Once you have these color numbers, you’re able to refer to them whenever making any new branding material such as a new website, flyers, business cards, promotional materials, etc.
Different categories of color are used in different software and in producing something for onscreen versus for print. This is why it’s important to find the color matches for each category (HEX, RGB, CMYK, and Pantone) when developing your brand’s colors.
Learn about the differences!
Pantone is generally used for offset printing — stationary, premium brochures, business cards and more. There are 1,755 solid Pantone colors, and printers and designers refer to the exact same swatches which ensures you’ll always get the same color you want. However, sometimes you won’t find an exact Pantone match to your HEX, RGB and CMYK numbers. In this case, simply select the option that is the closest you can find.
CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) is also used for printing items like full-color brochures, flyers, posters, postcards and more. There are a total of 16,000 color combinations that can be made from CMYK.
This method uses a combination of tiny transparent dots of four ink colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black, unlike Pantone which uses solid colors. This makes CMYK a subtractive color model.
RGB (red, green, blue) is the most commonly used color profile for onscreen graphics. This method creates colors using the additive process versus the subtractive used in CMYK, and it can create a whopping 16 million color combinations!
As stated, RGB is exclusive to digital items like mobile devices, computer monitors, laptops, TVs, games and illuminated signs. RGB is not used for printing because it will likely look less vibrant printed than it does on screen. Thus, the coloring will not match your brand’s set color scheme.
Lastly, HEX is the color category generally used onscreen for web design. HEX colors are expressed as six-digit combinations of letters and numbers defined by their RGB values. There are also around 16 million color combinations that can be made with HEX.
This might all seem like a lot to remember, but an easy way to match all these color categories is through conversion sites, or some software, like Photoshop, will even do it for you when exporting a document. For example, on the Pantone site, you can type in your HEX, RGB or CMYK and it will give you several Pantone matches to choose from.
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Here at Digital Media Butterfly, we can take care of all of this for you and help take your company to the next level of quality and professionalism.