Ratio7 | Colour: A Complicated Concept
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Colour: A Complicated Concept

01 Sep Colour: A Complicated Concept


Colour is a crucial element in graphic design, whether digital (the Web) or analog (print). Colour in design is a surprisingly complex issue. There are a variety of different colour models used in graphic design but the most common are RGB (Red, Green and Blue) and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and keyBlack). When these colour models are used in print, textiles or online, all of the colours in them are built from those 3 or 4 base colours!

Different companies have their own proprietary versions of these two colour models. Pantone, one of the largest color matching systems used (those paint swatches from the store are generally based on Pantone’s system), is based on CMYK and Adobe uses an RGB system.

As if that weren’t complicated enough, web designers use six digit hexidecimal codes to accurately identify colours! For instance, white is #FFFFFF. These codes ensure that a colour shows up on your computer as close as possible to what the designer intended.

Do you need to know this? Probably not. But you should know that your graphic design team at Ratio7, whether developing print or Web materials, take their colour very seriously! Different colours convey different messages and colours, like fashion, go in and out. Print magazine, one of the most popular graphic design magazines, has determined this shade of orange-pink to be particularly trendy right now. Remember hunter green and burgundy of the 1980’s or pink appliances from the 1960’s? Mauve is a colour that died a cold hard death (and will likely be resurrected under a completely different name!).

Trust your Hertfordshire’s Ratio7 designers to steer you in the right direction when it comes to colour!