Adobe illustrator does not have L*a*b* color, and I'm trying to create a color palette for my company, and I want to know which of the 3 values Illlustrator uses will give the most consistent color. I'm assuming HSV is most consistent, and will translate to L*a*b* more accurately than RGB or CMYK, but I may be wrong.

  • 1
    Define 'consistent'. In terms of software, they are just numbers. They are all equally consistent.
    – DA01
    Aug 5, 2014 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


HSV is a color editing tool, it's not a color model. You can edit a CMYK or RGB color with the HSV option. It doesn't change whether it's an RGB or CMYK color.

You need RGB for anything on-screen.

You need CMYK (or spot) for anything to be printed.

If you want consistent color, specifying a spot color would be your best option. Then translating that spot color to RGB and CMYK values.

In short, you can't just pick one color model for all media/devices. You have to specify colors based on their end use.

  • So for use on a screen and print, would finding the Lab* or Pantone be the best option, or would defining an RGB and a CMYK be best? EDIT: Pantone is a spot color. I understand now. Aug 5, 2014 at 17:08
  • You need to define both RGB and CMYK. Print can't use RGB and monitors can't use CMYK. LAB and HSV are editing tools, not reproduction tools. The Pantone+ libraries in Illustrator CS6 or newer are built on LAB values.
    – Scott
    Aug 5, 2014 at 17:12
  • Lab is also a scientific scale BTW. But no no lab just cmyk and rgb. Together with the color profile this both map to Lab.
    – joojaa
    Aug 5, 2014 at 18:22
  • Right LAB is a way of seeing the color in a different way, but it does not alter the actual color model. In this respect it's like HSV. Same data displayed in a different manner.
    – Scott
    Aug 5, 2014 at 18:35
  • @Scott well except that lab is way bigger than, CMYK or RGB. So like CMYK has diffetent size than RGB so too has LAB so care should be taken not to use out of gamut colors in regard to output device.
    – joojaa
    Aug 6, 2014 at 7:21

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