Colors form the essence of our visual perception and play a crucial role in all kinds of visual communication. From graphic design to photography, from web development to printing, two color models are fundamental: RGB and CMYK.
RGB is an additive color model that uses the primary colors Red, Green, and Blue. The principle behind RGB is based on human perception of colors. When we look at light, our eyes perceive colors through the light that is reflected by the objects around us. In this model, when all colors are combined at their full intensity, white light is produced. When none of the colors are present, black is seen. This model is mainly used in light-based applications such as television, computer screens, photography, and video.
Unlike RGB, CMYK is a subtractive color model that is used in color printing. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (Key). When cyan, magenta, and yellow are combined at full intensity, they absorb all light and theoretically produce black. However, due to impurities in commercial inks, the combination of these colors actually produces a dark brown color, hence the 'K' (black) is added to get a deeper and purer black.
The main difference between these two color models is that RGB is additive (adding light results in white) and CMYK is subtractive (removing light results in black).
Converting one color space to the other can be complex as the two systems have different color gamuts. CMYK cannot produce all colors that can be rendered by RGB, and vice versa. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the correct color space for each specific project to ensure that the colors are correctly represented.