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Color Values on a
Monitor - Screen

Home > MyHelp Pages > Tutorials > Colours

Why Colours Look Different

RGB System Screen Viewing Only!

RGB colour system is only suitable for screen reproduction such as LCD and CRT computer monitors and TV screens. This is not suitable color matching for printing or to colour match from, as each screen may represent colours differently. What may look fine on one screen, may be look completely different on another. This can be due to a number of reasons, whether it be due to individual screen settings such as brightness and contrast or even may be due to different monitor manufactures; i.e. Sony or LG.

The red, green, and blue components are the amounts of red, green, and blue light that an RGB color contains and are measured in values ranging from 0 to 255. To see these values, open a drawing program on your computer and delve deep into the color settings. Also you can view some values on new models of CRT and Digital Monitors.
The RGB color model is an additive color model. Additive color models use transmitted light to display color. Monitors use the RGB color model. When you add red light, blue light, and green light together, so that the value of each component is 255, the color white displays. When the value of each component is 0, the result is pure black.

CMYK/Process Digital printing

The CMYK, also known as Process colours are generally used in digital printing for signage. CMYK refers to the four colours used; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black to generate a colour. It is these four colours which are mixed together to make up other colours, much the same principal to how paint is colour matched.

One thing to note is that CMYK colours may not look identical to physical colours due to the restriction to the number of colours CMYK can reproduce and that Inks perform differently. For example, orange is very hard to reproduce, and can look very muddy in when printed digitally. We take care to register all images with our four color bars applied to all printing we do. In this manner, the production crew can quickly and visually check the print at different stages. If a final color is not accurately made, there is little we can do. It is a technology thing.

The CMYK colour model defines colour using the following components:
C Cyan Ink (this is a blue ink colour)
M Magenta Ink (this is a pink ink colour)
Y Yellow (yellow ink)
K Black (Black ink, the character 'k' is used so as not to get confused with the 'b' in RGB. RGB was invented first we believe.)

The cyan, magenta, yellow, and black components are the amounts of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink that a CMYK colour contains and are measured in percent from 0 to 100.
The CMYK colour model is a subtractive colour model. Subtractive colour models use reflected light to display colour. Printed materials are produced using the CMYK colour model. When you combine cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, so that the value of each component is 100, the result is black. When the value of each component is 0, the result is pure white.


Pantone colours, also know as PMS, are universal colour system which identifies a certain colour. These colours are referenced in a Pantone Printers Colour Book and each colour has an allocated number. For example Quick Smart orange is Pantone Orange 151.

A Pantone number is the best send to Quick Smart if you want an accurate match of your business colour. If this cannot be arranged, then please send through a physical sample of your business colour. Go to the Pantone screen values here. Recommended: Purchase a Pantone Colour Book.

Spot colour is when a Pantone Colour is chosen, but rather than comprising CMYK, it is like a one colour can of ink. Prints the same colour every time. No adjustments. Just like buying your favourite 'Sea Wind Blue' from a paint store. Same formula-recipe every time.

Fabric Prints

The process of printing onto fabric material is totally different than other graphic processes. The fabric is subjected to heat curing in a hot box after print. This will increase all the internal colors values of the color. So, if you want to achieve a Gray color, make sure that within your file, there is no cyan, magenta or yellow. If making a file for fabric printing, the colors are never guaranteed because there are heaps of elements beyond our control. We would suggest that you pay for a live sample of your file before proceeding with print. All colors on fabric will print with a high vibrancy and lustre.

About our online colour chips.

These have been scanned and colour corrected against live colours. This means, our chips are accurate compared to our calibrated monitors. You system, may have different cathode tubes, settings, wattage or outputs compared to ours. If you know how to calibrate your screen, this is done by adjusting the following. You should write down the initial values before changing so that you can revert if necessary.

Adjusting your monitor:
Hue describes the pigment of a colour and is measured in degrees from 0 to 359 (for example, 0 degrees is red, 60 degrees yellow, 120 degrees green, 180 degrees cyan, 240 degrees blue, and 300 degrees magenta). Saturation describes the vividness or dullness of a colour and is measured in percent from 0 to 100 (the higher the percentage, the more vivid the colour). Brightness describes the amount of white that the colour contains and is measured in percent from 0 to 100 (the higher the percentage, the brighter the colour). All these setting depend on the age and quality of the monitor.

TIP: If you work in an office with little sunlight, consider replacing the fluorescent tubes with Surgery Grade Lamps. Great for colour inspection.

TIP: The best way to view colour around you is to walk outside with your colour chips and compare against a previous or live sample.

Also See: Page 2, MyHelp with Photoshop
Photoshop: Photoshop Help with Colour, Using Photoshop Mode Changes
Photoshop: Cloning Images Tips
Photoshop: Adjusting Images, a great suggestion and tutorial page!
Fonts: Sending Fonts across the internet
Fonts: Finding Free Fonts to Download

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