Questions about colors, different color space, RGB or CMYK color model, transparent color, using or changing colors.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

84
votes
6answers
15k views

Who first discovered CMYK?

It has been used for colour printing for many, many years, but who (and when) first discovered that a bright pink colour (magenta), a light blue (cyan), yellow and black can be mixed to create almost ...
58
votes
11answers
69k views

What kind of black should I use when designing for CMYK print?

my question is what kind of black should I use when printing. At the moment I use this black (split into CMYK) : C:0% M:0% Y:0% K:100% It looks fine in InDesign or Illustrator but if I save a PDF ...
57
votes
6answers
10k views

Are “web-safe” colors still important?

Years ago, it was always strongly recommended that web designers should only use web-safe colors. Have studies been done to see if this is still the case? If so, what's the answer? Does anyone know ...
48
votes
7answers
7k views

Why do two perfectly adjacent rectangles create black or white lines in between as if they were overlapping or not exactly adjacent?

I have a flat design (well, it's supposed to be), but these black and white lines between the shapes are so annoying... [no stroke] take a look: See these lines between two overlapping rectangles? ...
46
votes
11answers
3k views

Is there a good resource or tool to help build a palette/color scheme around colors I select?

No matter how nice the composition, flow, and lines of my design are, if I am not copying directly from nature, I have a very difficult time picking a decent color scheme. It either looks too drab, ...
41
votes
5answers
29k views

Where can I find a large palette / set of contrasting colors for coloring many datasets on a plot?

I need large set (20 and more) of contrasted and easily visually-distinguishable colors for coloring different datasets on a scientific plot (the set of colors should not include white or black, and ...
39
votes
8answers
3k views

Sources for Color Theory or Psychology of Color

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good book/blog/forum that focuses on design principles such as psychology of color, specifically where it relates to picking a color palette for a communication ...
38
votes
13answers
2k views

What web graphics formats to use?

Web sites can contain JPEG, GIF,PNG, SVG format graphics. Which ones should be used, and when?
38
votes
10answers
53k views

What is the difference between CMYK and RGB? Are there other color spaces I should know?

I'm a photographer, who dabbles in graphic design from time to time as well. What are the differences between the various color spaces?
30
votes
1answer
114k views

Make image partially transparent in gimp

I want my image to have 60% transparency. How can I do this in gimp?
29
votes
4answers
30k views

How does one generate a palette similar to the ones in Google's material design?

Google's material design specifications have sets of colour palettes: Starting with a base primary colour, which they designate as "500", they then have a range of incremental steps of shade, ...
28
votes
8answers
173k views

How do I change a single layer to grayscale in Photoshop CS4?

I know you can have the whole image turn grayscale: Image > Mode > Grayscale, but what if I only want to make specific layers grayscale? There's gotta be an easier way than pulling out the ...
28
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I improve my color selection skill?

I'm a web developer, started to become a web designer. However, I think my understanding of colors is not practical yet. There are tools out there that can give you color harmonies, and more stuff, ...
27
votes
9answers
2k views

Methods for improving color choice and combinations?

I often struggle choosing proper color combinations. I'm self-ware enough to realize that I'm most comfortable with, and often settle on, colors which could be seen as more corporate or retro - blues, ...
23
votes
5answers
5k views

Why is pure blue darker than pure green?

If I convert hundred percent green and blue to grayscale then blue one becomes like twice as dark. I can see that green looks brighter, but I also want to understand reason behind it. Looking at ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

What exactly are Google's '500' color swatches?

I've been reading up on Google's Material Design, and as I'm reading up on Style, they keep mentioning primary 500 colors (as well as any other number ranging from 50, which is almost white, to 900), ...
22
votes
4answers
8k views

Why is it that this color gradient is so much more attractive than others?

I've been playing around with some gradients on a site I'm developing, and I'm really interested in the psychology or other meaning behind why certain colors appear more attractive than others. Here'...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

Clearly distinguishable colours for scientific figures

I am looking for pointers on how to pick a set of colours (or a colour gradient) that are clearly distinguishable, for use in scientific figures. Was there any systematic research on this? If yes, I'...
20
votes
6answers
12k views

How can I get the closest color word for a hex color?

Say I have a color like #7B0D40. Are there any tools out there to output the nearest human-understandable word for that color? (Like #7B0D40 ~= Magenta?) I know there's ways to search the words used ...
19
votes
4answers
11k views

What's the difference between CMYK Black and RGB Black

I know this sounds a stupid question, black is black right? Wrong: It's black right? so why are the CMYK Values so far away from black?
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I make screenshots look good when printed in CMYK?

When printing screenshots alongside black text, black areas of the screenshot look a washed out "muddy dark grey" and "washed out". What causes this and can I improve the black color area?
18
votes
3answers
31k views

Text not very readable on different image backgrounds

I've come here seeking for a bit of design help or advice on how I could possibly improve the following: Like the title says, I'm having a website banner with multiple text displayed on different ...
17
votes
6answers
15k views

Why is black not a natural color?

I've had at least two art teachers tell me that black does not naturally occur in nature, so using pure black makes your designs look synthetic. I do not understand this. Aren't the following black ...
15
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I use company's logo color as a website color even if its bad?

I'm building a website for the company that I'm in, but the marketing department, isn't giving me much room with the colors. They say that we need to use the #2DCCD3 everywhere because it's in the ...
15
votes
5answers
977 views

In what cases should I pay attention to my design's colour scheme when presenting it? When I do, what is a good way to do so?

Although I have little problems creating a colour palette for my designs, I do find it very difficult to present them to my customers. When I do, I mostly get either blank stares or micromanagement ...
14
votes
4answers
23k views

How to turn the grey background white in a phone camera picture of a book?

Here is a picture (of many) that I took from a book with my phone camera. The problem is that the background is too grey. I want it fully white. I have adobe Photoshop CS6. Does anyone know how I can ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What does it mean when printers have told me my colour is not a Pantone colour, but in my file it is?

I've recently designed a cosmetic label for a client and I've given them the final file to have it printed at their designated printer companies. But a few have them have come back and said that they ...
14
votes
3answers
23k views

How should artwork be setup for T-shirt printing?

What does it mean to colour separate the artwork in T-Shirt printing? It is normally suggested to use Pantone colours for T-Shirt printing. Is it the Pantone Coated or the Pantone Uncoated? The ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What effect do gradient fills have on the eye?

There are many baseline rules in web design (and design in general) around how the use of color, shape, line-quality, and font. These rules typically have some grounding in the way the brain perceives ...
14
votes
4answers
116k views

What CMYK values should I use for rich black, and how should I handle tints/shades?

I'm working on a full color piece in Illustrator which has a few large black and grey areas. I'd like the black to be a rich black. I was thinking c30 m30 y30 k100. What is the best ways to match my ...
14
votes
3answers
259 views

Examples of expensive color related printing mistakes?

I was preparing a lesson for new designers about "How to make print ready files?" and I wanted to add some historic facts about the greatest and most expensive print mistakes—something interesting to ...
13
votes
7answers
12k views

GIMP - change color of object preserving feathering

I have an .xcf image and I like to change the color of some objects within it. The objects are mostly one solid color with the edges feathered into transparency. I.e. all pixels in the object are ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

How could I adjust a design color scheme to account for paper color?

As a made up example, say I have a client who really wants a pastel blue paper but a color print on top of the paper. She knows there's going to be discoloration, but still wants me to go ahead and ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

How to make a color appear the same on different backgrounds?

Background on color perception: Due to the nature of the human eye and visual processing by the brain, there's an optical illusion that the same color will look different depending on the background. ...
12
votes
4answers
658 views

Colour combination for three buttons

What colour combination would work best for these three buttons: Should all of them remain the same colour? These are my options: Image of the whole page
12
votes
5answers
4k views

Many successful web startups have blue branding: is this a reflection of something?

Looking at the first page of the most successful Web-based startups of the last 10 years (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), we see the extensive usage of the color blue. In terms of the graphic ...
12
votes
10answers
26k views

Good color palette, usable for the color blind.

I'm designing a chart right now, that will slowly have more items added to it. I'd like to create an list/order of colors for the items, that will be most usable for the color blind to differentiate ...
12
votes
4answers
95k views

How do I change the colour of a shape in Photoshop after I've drawn it

For some reason it seems impossible to change the colour of a rectangle I've drawn in Photoshop after I've drawn it. I can change the colour of a new one that I want to draw but once it's drawn there ...
12
votes
2answers
12k views

In GIMP, how to colorize using a reference color?

I have an image I wish to colorize using a picked color. What is the handiest/easiest way to do this in GIMP? I've tried my best by checking the palette for my picked color's HSV, then using it as ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

What is a spot/Pantone colour?

When should I use them, and how do I pick one? (NB: I know the answer, but think this question fills an important gap.)
12
votes
1answer
7k views

Set the colour of arrows in inkscape

I have added end arrows to some connectors and Bézier curves, but I cannot find how to set their colour, since they appear to be concerned neither by the background settings nor by the outline ones. ...
11
votes
3answers
68k views

How to prepare a design for CMYK printing?

This was asked in another thread. When I searched to see if this question has been asked before it was not. Per Meta we are encouraged to create threads that show quality solutions or to future ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I convert a red color scheme to a green one without making it look “brighter”

The current color scheme for my desktop uses a red palette. I would like to change it into something green instead so I went through the color scheme configuration file and "rotated" all color values ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Choosing colors that work well on projectors

When specifying colors for use in a software user interface, what's the best way to ensure that those colors will look acceptable on all common display technologies: CRT, LCD, and in particular ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does anti-aliasing in black characters use colors other than gray-scale ?

I'm a developer, I'm not a graphic designer. But there's one question that bugs me every since I've noticed it some years ago. Anti-aliasing is a method for removing the sharpiness from high contrast ...
11
votes
4answers
17k views

What is the relationship between hue, saturation and value?

I see people adding color on top of a gray-scale drawing and their colors look great, but when I do myself, the colors look terrible (dirty, not the color I seem to pick from the color wheel). People ...
11
votes
2answers
983 views

How reliable are the colour blindness previews in Illustrator and Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator have options to preview what artwork will look like to people with red/green colour blindness (protanopia and duteranopia). How reliable are these previews? For ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

What's a good source of color palettes to provide to a color-blind user?

There's a question on this site already about choosing good color palettes when designing for color-blind users. My question is different — it's about working with colors for an audience with normal ...
10
votes
5answers
14k views

What is 5-colour printing?

When my print rep talks about five-colour printing, what does he mean? I know you have cyan, magenta, yellow and black - but what's the fifth?
10
votes
4answers
713 views

Do high-content areas of a website need to be white/light-colored?

Many websites that are designed to be easy to read (eg. nytimes.com or ilovetypography.com) use white backgrounds with black fonts to make the content easy to read. Is it necessary to only use light ...