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SHOULD CMYK SWATCHES ALSO HAVE RGB REFS

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by kojak, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. kojak

    kojak New Member

    London UK
    Hi. If one is buying a cmyk paper swatch set, is it advisable for the cmyk paper swatches to also to have rgb numbers as well? Do they fade over time? Would a new book say 5 yrs old still be ok? Thanks
     
  2. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    What CMYK paper swatches?

    How can a new book that's 5 years old be a sentence?

    CMYK paper swatches show you the colour breakdown for CMYK on the computer and how it outputs on that specific paper.

    There's many different printing situations, Digital. Litho, Screen, Large Format. Flexo, etc. so it depends on what printing process too.

    RGB defines it's closest match via the screen. Your monitor, someone elses monitor, your phone, the web, etc. Each screen is different and not all screens are calibrated the same.

    If you use the CMYK mix on the paper swatch, then communicate that with your printers, and provide the same colour sample so they can match.

    But RGB is only required for on screen.
     
  3. kojak

    kojak New Member

    HS, thanks for the reply. My comments in italics below:


    What CMYK paper swatches?
    Digital Color Index by Alan Weller book and CD

    How can a new book that's 5 years old be a sentence?
    When it was printed in 2011 but never sold and remains in it's original packaging

    CMYK paper swatches show you the colour breakdown for CMYK on the computer and how it outputs on that specific paper.

    There's many different printing situations, Digital. Litho, Screen, Large Format. Flexo, etc. so it depends on what printing process too.

    RGB defines it's closest match via the screen. Your monitor, someone elses monitor, your phone, the web, etc. Each screen is different and not all screens are calibrated the same.

    If you use the CMYK mix on the paper swatch, then communicate that with your printers, and provide the same colour sample so they can match.

    But RGB is only required for on screen.

    I understand what you say. For printing yes I see that if one tells the printer to use cmyk color x on paper similar to the swatch book the color printed will be close to the color swatch. When one is setting up a design on screen one is using rgb colors. If I am happy with the colors I see on screen I thought I could try to match them with the printed cmyk swatches and specify those to the printer. So under that scenario the rgb numbers on the swatches serve no purpose. How else would one do this? You can see I have never done this before.
     
  4. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Pantone colours

    And referencing rgb colours is a pointless exercise.
     
  5. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    except for web designs where rgba can be used for 'accurate' colour matching but as said with just printing it's fairly useless. Even this isn't 100% matching though due to the inherent differences of the 3/4 colours used to produce the final colour.

    Personally I absolutely hate specifying colours because as said there are so many variables that can make something look different down to something as simple as the colour of the lighting (ie cool versus warm bulbs) or indoors versus outdoors. I've actually gone as far as to put a piece in my t&c's saying something along the lines of 'we'll do our best to represent colours accurately but we we can't guarantee 100% accuracy in all circumstances"
     
  6. kojak

    kojak New Member

    So Levi, I presume you prepare your artwork in Illustrator in a cmyk colour space and if you have to adjust the colours accordingly once you have printed the artwork, if print is it's destination, then you do so. I see your point. I have come into graphics via architecture and the software with which I am most familiar in Microstation v8i which is pretty powerful and does much of what Illustrator does although when it comes to cmyk colour I haven't found a way to set that up. What I intend to do is perhaps do much of the artwork in MStation then create an svg file or a pdf file and open that in AI and then adjust the colours accordingly to save it as an .ai file

    My original question was is there any point when buying a paper swatch set of cmyk colours, for those colours to also have rgb refs on them. If I interpret HankScorpio correctly he is saying best to get Pantone swatches, but even if they might have rgb refs on them, those rgb refs are of little use.
     
  7. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    It depends, if you know your designs are going to be used on the web, say you do a company branding with defined colours etc then it's sometimes worth having the closest rgb codes so that the web developer can use it for reference in the colouring of the site.
    If not it really is personal opinion.

    As to pantone books... I've not got any, I do 3D design and rendering primarily and every time I've considered buying some something stops me. I do have a fully calibrated work setup though so my colours are as accurate as I can make them etc at my end.
     
  8. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Hypothetically speaking... If I were to create a design for a website/onscreen/app etc to which I used a RGB colour profile, only to then find out that my design also needs to be printed; how would I go about matching the onscreen RBG colours as close as possible to the eventual print out in CMYK? And in future, if a design may be intended for both web and print, is RGB still the correct set-up to use due to its larger colour gamut?
     
  9. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    IIRC pantone do 'official' rgb to cmyk to pantone books....

    Personally I'd get as close as possible using one of the many web tools out there and just inform the client of the limitations of on screen versus print. Obviously a small tweak here and there may be needed for things like rich black etc
     
  10. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    @Levi Would using Illustrator's 'Recolour Artwork' be a good shout to match and convert the colours? I have used this before and it seems to do a pretty good job, but I am wondering if it is poor way to go about converting or if it is a standard way of doing it?
     

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