Questions tagged [color]

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

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104
votes
7answers
20k 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 ...
91
votes
5answers
81k 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 ...
78
votes
12answers
146k 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 ...
67
votes
15answers
6k 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, ...
64
votes
5answers
64k 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, ...
62
votes
6answers
15k 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 ...
53
votes
7answers
9k 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? ...
53
votes
1answer
166k views

Make image partially transparent in gimp

I want my image to have 60% transparency. How can I do this in gimp?
49
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
45
votes
10answers
104k 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?
43
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13answers
4k views

What web graphics formats to use?

Web sites can contain JPEG, GIF,PNG, SVG format graphics. Which ones should be used, and when?
37
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5answers
17k 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), ...
34
votes
9answers
3k 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, ...
34
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, ...
30
votes
3answers
62k 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 ...
29
votes
9answers
27k 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
9k views

Why is pure blue darker than pure green?

If I convert 100% green and blue to grayscale, the blue one becomes about twice as dark. I can see that green looks brighter, but I also want to understand reason behind it. Looking at colors in ...
27
votes
4answers
365k 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 ...
26
votes
2answers
7k 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'...
25
votes
7answers
21k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I detect if a color is gray

I'm trying to programatically detect if a color is "gray" or not. The best measure of "grayness" I could find was the saturation. The problem that I'm running into is that ...
24
votes
8answers
7k views

How do I make this color combination more readable?

I am trying to improve an existing web site, and this is what I am starting with: <body style=' background-color: rgb(50,101,152); color: red; text-decoration-color: red; ...
24
votes
4answers
13k 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'...
24
votes
4answers
21k 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?
24
votes
1answer
17k 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. ...
23
votes
5answers
4k 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?
23
votes
2answers
23k views

Change gradient colors in Inkscape

How can I change the color from which to which the gradient should be changing in Inkscape?
22
votes
4answers
49k views

How should artwork be setup for T-shirt printing?

What does it mean to colour separate the artwork for 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
20k views

Given a color scheme, how do I apply to website design?

Just so there is something concrete to discuss, say I have this color scheme: Source There are many articles about how to pick a coherent color scheme based on complementary colors, monochromatic ...
21
votes
5answers
29k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
42k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
198k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

How to argue for color choices?

I'm primarily a UX/Interaction Designer, however, since I'm working for a fairly small company I'm having to overlap to graphic and visual design. I'm fine with this however I'm having a few problems. ...
19
votes
6answers
40k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
42k 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
8k views

Should a logo always work in black and white?

It's often agreed that logos should always work in black and white... am I right in thinking that doesn't mean greyscale, and literally just means black and white i.e. positive and negative space? It ...
18
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
87k views

Colors in Photoshop CS6/CC look different than in browser?

One of my friends, a graphic designer told me recently that sometimes colors in Photshop look slightly different than the ones rendered in browser. I know it is possible when you save a file and then ...
17
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
30k views

Why not use pure black (#000) and pure white (#FFF)?

A New Top Bar for Stack Exchange says, The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s really black*. * Jin points out that technically it’s not quite black: it’s #212121. In its CSS I see, background: #...
17
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
9k 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. ...
16
votes
3answers
121k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
189k views

How to add background color to text in Photoshop

What's the easiest way to do it? I know CSS could just set background color of text very easily. And fireworks was able to do that. But I can't make it work now. I know there is a harder way: putting ...
16
votes
3answers
16k views

In Inkscape, how can I save colors for use in multiple elements?

For example, I'd like to have a color called "text-color" or one called "content-box-color". How can I save a color like this and then assign it to an element?
15
votes
5answers
19k views

Generating a series of colors between two colors

Given a start color and an end color, is it possible to algorithmically generate a range of colors between them? For example, given the light and dark shades of blue/gray at the start and end of the ...
15
votes
6answers
28k 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?
15
votes
3answers
51k views

How does a monitor display the CMYK color? Is it actually showing the true CMYK color?

Suppose I'm designing something for printing purposes. Then I need to stick with CMYK model. When ever I'm choosing color while designing, I'm setting color based on what my monitor shows me as CMYK. ...
15
votes
3answers
12k views

Copyright of a set of colors?

I often see color combinations on webpages, images, posters, products etc. that harmonize really well. Am I allowed to use those colors in my own design? This is solely about the colors. I will not ...

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