Understanding and Using RGB, CMYK, and SPOT COLOR! | Kimberly Gonzalez | Skillshare

Understanding and Using RGB, CMYK, and SPOT COLOR!

Kimberly Gonzalez, ARTIST / TEACHER / MAKER

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14 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Welcome to Color Class!

    • 2. The Project

    • 3. OVERVIEW: Color Basics

    • 4. Color settings

    • 5. RGB: Creating Swatches

    • 6. RBG: The Color Picker

    • 7. RGB: Naming Swatches

    • 8. RGB: Color.Adobe.Com

    • 9. CMYK: Converting Swatches

    • 10. CMYK: Color Books

    • 11. CMYK: Exporting a CMYK File

    • 12. SPOT: Choosing Pantone Colors

    • 13. SPOT: Specifying Pantone Colors

    • 14. Happy Designing!


About This Class

This class will make you a better Graphic Designer.

We’ll be learning color basics about RGB, CMYK and SPOT Color. Then, we’ll create an RGB swatch from a photo and convert it to CMYK for print.

This class is for Graphic Design beginners or anyone who needs to get something printed. This is not a class on color theory, rather a guide to actually working with color on a computer.

After this class, you will understand the different types of color for both screen and print and know how and where to use them!


1. Welcome to Color Class!: Are you confused about how to select colors for projects? Not sure about the difference between RGB, C M I K and Pantone colors. Have you tried using the color picker with less than great results? Well, this color class is for you. After this class, you'll understand those different color spaces. Be able to convert RGB two c m i K and feel more confident printing your projects. This is not a color theory class. It's a hands on how to color workshop. I'm Kimberly, CA Prone Gonzalez teacher, graphic designer and maker Welcome to color cloth. 2. The Project: are simple Class project is to create an RGB swatch set from a photograph or illustration that inspires you. Then we'll look at ways to convert that swatch set to see him y que and spot color. If you are working on a project that you'll be using this color in, go ahead and post that, too. For this class, you're going to need a photo and computer running adobe photo shop. But the color lessons are graphic design basics that could really be applied to all applications and platforms. 3. OVERVIEW: Color Basics: Let's review some RGB C M i K and spot color basics. So RGB is the color that we use for screens, and it's an additive color. And that means that our primaries red, green and blue are mixed together to form every single color. Red and green make yellow, red and blue make magenta and green and blue makes science. Mixing those primary and secondary colors together gives us our whole huge, amazing RGB spectrum. When we add all these colors together, every color we get pure white light. Or you could also say that light contains every color, kind of like the cover of our side of the moon. RGB was created for television and projection, and today we use it in everything we used in all of our smartphones and all of our monitors , cameras, tablets, watches. What have you Most of the screens that we use today use L. C D technology, and that means that light passes through liquid crystal and that produces those RGB waves that go directly into your eyeballs. This spectrum RGB, is a huge immense spectrum and has, ah, unbelievable luminosity and possibilities. C M Y K is for print and it stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key or black. And it is a subtract ivo color space, which what does that even mean? Well, if we review what happens with RGB, we remember that light passes through liquid crystal and produces, um, those rays that go right into our eyes. So if we wanted Tiu show something that was read, Ah, we literally project that red wave right out from the screen and it goes directly into your eyeball, and then your brain is like, Oh, it's red Seem like a completely different so say that you have a red object. What happens is that the light will hit the object, and the molecular structure of that object that is red actually will subtract the green and the blue rays from pure white light. So what's refracted, or what's reflected into our eyes is on Lee the Red Wave. I guess it's almost like red is anything but read in a weird way, anyway. Oh, white eyes, the substrate that will reflect everything. Refer likes all colors back into your eye. And of course, black will absorb everything and reflect nothing. And when we think of this imprinting, we think of the papers being pure white, and every time we layer scion, magenta, yellow or black were subtracting more of those color waves from the white paper on. The result is that we see the right colors in the right places. It's pretty incredible that those four translucent inks can give us so much printed material. It's important to note that, however cool it is, um, the sea my cakes color space is much, much smaller than the color space that your human eye can see, and they're RGB color space. It's tiny, very small, and actually any color that you see on the monitor cannot be produced and see him like a. Which kind of sucks. Since everything we design we design on screens. Entire industries have evolved to help us solve solve this dilemma and be able to get more dependent color so spot color. What is spot color? It can be kind of confusing to new designers, but actually spot color is pretty much really simple. In fact, you've been using spot color for your whole life. If you have used Crans or over stamps or fluorescent highlighters or wall paint, or maybe now polish, then you've used spot color. You picked the color that you want, and it goes directly on the spot. So unlike mixing together cyan, magenta, yellow and black to produce color, we literally get the colors that we want and we put them right on the spot. These colors can overlap, but they're solids. They're not like little dots like Sam Wyche. A. We can refer to these colors as spot color Pantone Color, which can kind of be misleading sometimes and PMS color, which I don't really like, which stands for a Pantone matching system. Spot colors are used when mixing C m. Y que just will not do if you want vibrancy, metallics, for example, neons and fluorescence. There's just no way that to mix C M y que to get neon green, it's not gonna have him when you spot color usually designed a 12 or three color piece because a screen has to be made for every place that the spot color goes. So, of course, you have to limit the colors that you use in order to communicate all this stuff. We use color, identity systems and formulas to communicate what we want to say. about color. Everybody has different eyesight. Everybody sees things a little bit differently. So this insurers the same color across platforms and in print to communicate RGB. We use Hexi decimal codes and we also use RGB values for C. M. Okay, we use our seem like a formulas to get consistent print color. We could also use formula guides and Swatch books like Pantone, probably the most noted brand out there for that and also true match. Some color formulas are trademarked like Barbie pink, for example, or very well known Tiffany blue. It's super important for brands to have consistent color between platforms. So now that you know a little bit more about color, happy designing. 4. Color settings: This is a little note on color spaces. So here in photo shop you can check your color space that you're in and your i c c color profiles by going to edit and down here to color settings. And for RGB, there's too really popular settings. One is s rgb and that's the one pretty much everybody can see. And then there's also adobe rgb Adobe RGB is a little bit better than actually it's a little more than better a little more than a little bit better than s RGB. So I'm gonna set mine to Adobe RGB and then I'm gonna use this default right here us for San y K U s Web coated S w O P version two and I'm gonna save that. And then I'm gonna flip over to Illustrator and I'm going to do the same thing you want. All your programs to be using became the same color settings. I mean, that does make sense. Also, if you're working in a photo shop and illustrator, which I assume you are, you want to be using the adobe RGB color space, which is just a better like I said, bigger color space one little note here, you're gonna notice I'm doing this with no file open. And that's because I want to change my color settings. Kind of permanently. I don't want them to go back to s RGB when I open the next file. If you would have a file open here when you were changing your settings Ah ah, All the adobe programs would think that you were only changing that setting only for that file. And so when you opened up the program next time it wouldn't be saved. 5. RGB: Creating Swatches: first RGB palette that we're gonna make. I'm going to be making it for this T shirt that I'm working on to solar Power T shirt. And my inspiration for the color is definitely I think some like sixties Celik like psychedelic happy pinks, oranges. So I've made a an inspiration board over on Pinterest, which is pretty useful for getting your design thoughts together. So, um, the way that I want this to shirt to go is for the full color T shirt. I want it toe have sort of like the sixties Beatles look, and I'm going to do another version of it. That's one color. And so I was thinking maybe something like this, but maybe pinker or or injure. So the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make a palette from this graphic right here. So let's put these guys away and go into photo shop. And the first thing that I'm gonna do is make a new file. So I'm gonna goto file new. We're gonna use ah, Web minimum. If you don't have these templates right here or presets, I should really call them you over here to web and then this one right here. Web medium is gonna be perfect for what we want. It's good size. I'm gonna click on create. And the first thing that I'm gonna do is place in my inspiration picture from to go file place embedded and go here to my desktop. All you need is love right there. And while I'm placing it, I can hold, shift down, make my picture smaller, and move it up here and then hit Return to set it down. I have my layers open here, which you're gonna wanna have open also. Now, what I'm gonna do is make a copy of this image would hold down on option. I'm gonna dry. Get over here to the right. And now I have two of these. This one I'm going to pixel ate because it's gonna be easier for me to see some of the colors. So here's the copy that we just made. I'm gonna go up here to filter go down here to pixel ate. Go to Mosaic. Move this around. If your dialog box opens and it looks like this, which it probably will you really want to bring the cell size down. You wanna have the cells big enough that you can pick from them, Sort of like that. I feel like I have all of the colors that air in here, and they're a little bit easier to pick from, because since it's sort of pixelated it, you can see there's a lot of ah sort of garbage in here from whoever made this a J peg or whatever. It's not the best quality. Plus, it's just easier to pick like this, so I like it. I think that's a good size. I'm gonna click on, OK, And now I have my pixelated picture. We're gonna come over here and use shape layers which are down here in the toolbox shape. Players are perfect for this because you're gonna get unshaved, penned a new layer. So I'm gonna go to the lips right here, and I'm gonna hold shift so that I get a perfect circle and drag out, you know, nice size little circle here. The next thing I want to do is I have my colors over here that I can choose for the circle . So if I'm gonna choose this is the Phil here, and this will let me select colors from here, but I don't want us light colored from here. I want us like colors from here. So I'm going to click on this little icon here, which is gonna bring up my adobe RGB color picker. And you can see I have my little eyedropper here. And so the first color that I'm gonna go and grab over here is definitely going to be a pink. I know that I want pink. So I'm gonna come over here and click on this pink. You can see it shows it right here. I'm gonna click, OK? And that's my first color to go to the mover tool now and open up the layers again and I'm going Teoh, I can either on a Mac hold option and drag over. The other thing that I could do is in the layers panel over here. I could just make a copy of this. Ah, I could do ah, command or alter J, which also makes a copy and move it over a little bit. And I'm going to color this guy in. So in order to access this color, I can either double click right here in the corner. Right? Someone double click there and then you'll see that my dropper is ready for action. Thea other next color I definitely want is a light blue. So I'm gonna continue like this. I'm gonna do another command j gonna go into the corner here, right here in this corner, The double click. And now I definitely want on orange. Maybe like that click. OK, You want 55 of these classes? Sort of the standard number Command J again Still in the mover tool of this guy over. I love that it's going to show me where these air all you know, spaced equally lovely DoubleClick in the corner again. This time I know I want a nice bright yellow maybe a lighter yellow like that Some click, OK, And I have only one more So command J again Move this over a little bit more. I think I want a purple this time So I'm gonna go over here. DoubleClick get my color picker up and find a purple So here's a purple now I'm not really that happy with this purple It's a little darker than I want And I wanna I want to be lighter. I like this sort of happy pastel look. So, as you're choosing these colors, you could also come over here to the color picker and you can make some adjustments. And also, this is a really nice time for us to look at the color picker for a minute. 6. RBG: The Color Picker: I want to take a second and quickly go over the color picker. Um, this color picker is available to you in ah, several adobe programs. Photoshopped Illustrator in design. So Ah, we can launch the color picker quite easily by going over here. Here's the foreground and the color picker will launch for the foreground or the background . An illustrator. It would be Phil or the stroke. Ah, if I double click, they're seeing it launches there also. So when I launched the color picker, it's going Teoh Launch like this and a quick tour. The Web colors are a throwback, Um, to a while ago when there was only 2 56 colors that were shared between platforms. So this made it easier for designers to pick Web colors. But now a monitors air a lot better. And we don't really feel like we have that problems so much anymore. Um, let's pick a color down here like this pink. Over here we have the color that it was in the new color that we just sampled. Down here we have the hue, saturation and brightness, and this is a really good way of changing. Ah, the color that you're trying to pick it. If one of these colors over here you're not happy with, I can go to Hugh. And of course, that's going to be a totally different color. I can go to saturation just goingto put the saturation up and down and brightness Hey, down here is where I dial in my rgb colors when I have ah, ma rgb recipe that I want to put in This is my hexi decimal code right here. Down here is where a dial in my seeing c m y que values. And over here is the lab color settings. And that's the l stands for lightness and A and B are coordinates. This is a device independent color. Um, Jews too communicate color between devices. Over here we have caller library. So if you're gonna pick a Pantone color, you click that the Here are your Pantone guides Also true. Match your Toyo. So if you were gonna pick metallic for example, you'd go here and these air your metallic Pantone colors and that's it 7. RGB: Naming Swatches: So I'm finishing up my first palette, and I'm naming these colors with their hex code name. So I'm right here. And this is super easy. All you need to do is crab, your little dropper. Here, drop or your color. Come over here to the foreground color. Click it and thats your color right there. There's your hex code. So I'm gonna highlight my hex code. Do command. See, I'll see on a PC. Copy it. Go to the type tool click and my color mover tool money. Use EAS or do this for each one of my colors so that anybody that wants to use these colors can just dial in the RGB hex code for this color. In that way, in the class projects, we can all share our pellets. So when you're done naming all of your colors with their hex code values, the last thing that you want to do is give your palate a name and maybe put your name on it . So here I am done and gonna go back to the typed over one more time and I'm gonna need the name. This all you need is love command. T are all t that look bigger and we're done. And now I'm going to save This is Jay Peg and upload it to the class project site. The next thing that we're gonna do is we're gonna do another technique for making an RGB palette. So see you next video. 8. RGB: Color.Adobe.Com: another really cool way to choose RGB Color is the adobe color website, so it's color dot adobe dot com. And if you have an adobe creative cloud subscription, then you can log into the site Over here should show that you're logged in and all the work that you do here will be saved to your creative cloud libraries, which is really cool. Um, to start out, you can just pick, um, any of these, um, sort of color themes. You can go with an analogous, um, color theme. And any time that you move these, it'll just sort of force the theme, too. Be analogous or try attic. Really? Cool, right? Complimentary. You can see that you can move the sliders inside and out, get different shades, different tones, things like that. So this is a very cool on area to check out for what we're going to do today, though, we're going to go over here to this little tiny camera and we're going to click our camera , and this will allow us to grab our image that we're making our palette from. So I'm going to grab my All you need is love picture, and it's gonna load it up. And this is so badass. It just sort of finds the colors in the picture to give you some place to start. And usually you you know, I wind up tweaking this just a little bit. For example, I love the pink that it chose. That's great. M the blues little deep so I can grab this. And you can see that when I start to move it, it will magnify, which is great, because if you are, you can see up there in the magnification. You can see some of the artifacts from the J peg and stuff like that so I can find a nice blue right here. That one's great. I'm really not so into the green. So I think I'm gonna change the green from green over to a purple like that. I like the yellow that it picked on here. Maybe a little bit lighter. I feel like this is a later yellow, so I'm gonna go there and then my orange. I think it's probably the same color orange here to go up and go here. This has given me a really nice Ah, a really nice selection to choose from now, what I can do is after I'm done picking my colors, um, I can go ahead and save my theme, and I'm gonna call it at. All you need is love, and I'm gonna put it here in my skill share. Um, library and I can choose whether or not to publish this theme. Teoh the explorer area of this website for this one. I don't think about it. Publish it. But I am going to save it. And after a save it, I have my theme here. Now, if I'm not totally happy with the colors that I've chosen, I can go to edit. And this is going to take the colors that I've chosen and give me this great little editing space. And each time I click on a color here, I can adjust it so I can make this 1 may be a little bit lighter if I want to. This one. I definitely want to make a little bit later so I can adjust this a little bit later. Hear something like that and I can go ahead and do this. And then when I'm happy, I can go ahead and save it. I could say the changes or save it as a completely different file If I want to Just really cool while we're here. Ah, we might as well look at a few other areas of this website that are pretty cool. If you want somewhere to start, you can go to explore. And this area publishes themes from all the adobe adobe creative cloud users. So maybe you don't have ah, photo that you want to start with. Maybe you want to start with one of these and you can see that as I mouse over these, I can save it into my creative cloud and use it just as it is. Or I can edit a copy and use my edited copy. Just because we're here, I'm going to go ahead and save one of these. Also missed Say, save this one and I'm gonna also save it into the same space safe and it's in my space also , after using this area, this website for a while you're gonna have your themes and you can see I have made some themes. So these air, all of the color themes that I have created for different projects and stuff like that. So now that I have that saved, I'm going to go into not that going to minimize that. And I'm going to come in here to photo shop and I can open up any document that I want to. But what I really wanted to show you here is that if I go into my my library what Here? I'm gonna go down skill share. And there is my color theme. There's all you need is love And there's the other theme that I saved so cool. But what really makes this cool is that it's, you know, it's saved throughout all your programs. So if I open illustrator now and I want to apply my colors my RGB colors that I've just selected, I can now go over here skill share. And those are the colors that I just created. So here is all you need is love and so do you. Just go ahead and start to color your work really cool 9. CMYK: Converting Swatches: converting are RGB swatches. To see a more like A isn't hard. But before we do that, let's take a look at what's happening. And it's much easier to see in a photograph. So I have this picture here. It's gorgeous from Clement Rua's a Benzia and both of these pictures this picture and this picture by Robert G. Allen. I got off of the stock website unspool ash, which is fantastic. So both these pictures are an RGB. And to get a better idea of what's gonna happen when we converted to see him like a we can preview this by hitting command or control. Why? So watch pay attention to the blues. You see that? You see up in here, you see what happened to me? Undo it. Same command, Commander Control. Why, Commander Control Wiles, Do it again So that c m Y k and you can see like right here it's letting you know like you're in CIA. Mordecai preview. You can see that there is a color shift and, um, it's in the blue spectrum, mostly, which makes sense because if you look at the RGB seem like a color model, that's the color model that has the least seem like a conversion ability. I could probably live with that conversion in this picture. Now here's a different picture. This picture is fantastic. Look at the luminous and it's awesome. It's these jellyfish and, um so we're going to try the same thing here we're gonna do, command or control Why, and that's a heck of a change. So that's RCM like a preview commander Control. Why again? Now we're back in RGB so you can really see the shift of what's gonna happen when we convert to see him like, Hey, now, if you want to test, if you want to actually see the colors that cannot be converted to see him like a you can add one key to that preview can add shift a new shift command or shift control. Why? And it's going to show you all the colors that are out of gamut. So those are the colors that C M y que cannot print, so that's pretty drastic. So that's why when you converted to seem like a it looks so different. If we're going to do the same preview over here, which is ah, shift command. Why so There you go. That shows you the colors that are out of gamut for printing there without the keyboard key . You can also go in here to view, and you can turn on the gamut warning. Here you go. And that shows you what's what's out of gamut. So we're gonna go back now to our swatches and, of course, would make this a teeny bit bigger and is down a little bit. And so what we're gonna do is we're gonna change this to see M y que. And I want you to pay attention into this area right here, which is going to shift dramatically when I do that. So, in order to create Ah, this and this and seem like a or make this seem like a we're gonna go to image, we're going to go to mode and we're gonna go down to see him like a It's gonna ask if I want emerge my layers, I do not. It's gonna ask me if I want a Rasta rise it I do not You see c The shift here. So now it's Sam y que and ah, I can. Now I need to change a couple things to post it in my project. The first thing that I need to do is I need to re sample these colors because now that it seemed like a this is an accurate anymore. For example, if I grab my dropper tool and I click on this blue which in RGB had this number right here , then I click on my foreground color. It's not that number anymore. It now it's a completely different hex code. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna copy command, see my hex code, and I'm gonna find that Ah, that's watch, which is here him and double click on the tea. And I'm gonna do Command V. And I need to do these that for all of these so that, um if I want to choose this color for C m Y K, it's accurate because it's not the same color anymore. The only other thing I'm gonna do after I change all these guys is that I'm going to change this to seem like a and I'm gonna post it side by side on my project. So on skill share so you can see the difference. We're going to talk about another method in the next video 10. CMYK: Color Books: If you really want to see what C M Y que will look like in print, you really need to pick the colors from print so you can use an inexpensive book like these designer guides a color which you can get off Amazon seriously for a penny. There's so many of them you can get all fancy and order yourself some Pantone cm like a swatch books. They have coated and uncoated. So depending on the paper that you're gonna be printing on so you can accurately see the color and you pick your colors from actual print from the actual reflected color, which makes them very accurate, and you won't have any surprises. So I just dial in the colors from my color books, whether it's designer guided color or Pantone's watch set. And I can send off my print with confidence and know that everything will look exactly like I wanted to 11. CMYK: Exporting a CMYK File: before I move on to my next Sam y que video, I'm just gonna show you how to export this. So this is now in seem like a weaken. See this? And so to export this to your project, we're gonna file and we're gonna export as. And so we have some control of the settings. And when you export this as a J peg from photo shop to post on your skill share project, this will probably be the default. It will have this convert to SRG be checked. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you're convert, if you're exporting to a J peg, you probably are gonna be posting it on the Internet. So and that's a screen space. So the default for this dialogue boxes toe have this checked, which makes sense. And if and so it's Ray basically putting it back into RGB. So if you exported it with this checked and you put it side by side with your rgb swatch, you really wouldn't see a heck of a lot of difference. Now if I uncheck it and again watch the color shift, Okay? Now I can export it, and it's gonna be seeing like a 12. SPOT: Choosing Pantone Colors: Sometimes a print job will call for a spot color, like when you need to have a vibrant rich color and c m y que just won't cut it or you want to use metallic neon or fluorescent pinks. Maybe it's a two color job and the one other color besides black that you want poor. It is an interesting spot color. Some of those people you spot colored prints, stationery like business cards, envelopes and letterhead, some kind of project where you need to have consistent spot on color through the entire identity. You could want to you spot color because your image will be screen printed to pick your inks. In this situation, you'll need to have a Pantone's watch book. My favorite one by far is the Pantone Bridge, which will show you all your color options. Spot color C M y que RGB and the Hexi decimal value 13. SPOT: Specifying Pantone Colors: I'm gonna show you how to specify spot color for both photo shop and for illustrator. So I'm in photo shop right now, and I'm going to pick the orange 21 c spot color for my T shirt. So, um, go over here to the color picker and I'm going to click this color libraries. And these are all the Pantone guides. So I'm using the color bridge. And once I pull this up, I can sort of just start typing. So if I go and orange, it's gonna find it orange. 0 21 C u P. Okay. And that's this color. So when I apply this color here in Photoshop, it will be the Pantone color. I can also in photo shop, open a set of swatches to pick from, but I'm not sure that you're gonna be using that many Pantone colors. But if you wanted to, you could. So I'm using this uncoated guide. I'm gonna upend it or just replace it. And these are my colors. If you're using spot colors, it's probably easier to change your swatches panel so that it says list in that way. You, um you can actually see the color's gonna flip over to illustrator and okay, and then an illustrator. It's also very simple to pick your colors here of my swatches here and what I like to do an illustrator is I like to clean out my swatch panel so that the only thing in my swatch panel are the colors that I'm actually using in the design. So I'm in a click on my swatches panel and I'm going Teoh se select all of the unused colors and then go down to the garbage can and I'm going to click delete because I like it to be nice and clean. So now I have my swatches panel and I'm going to pick my orange 21 cm, gonna go down here to these watch sets, and I'm going to go to color books and there they are. So I'm gonna go over, go to my bridge, uncoated and open this up type in ups orange, Okay, and then it's gonna find it immediately. So here's my Ah, here's my Pantone color or in 21 C. It's going to go right here in my swatches. And now I can go ahead and apply this color to anything I want to, and that's how you specify Pantone color 14. Happy Designing!: thanks so much for joining me in this color class. I'd love to hear class feedback or any questions that you might have. Also, if you have an a graphic design classes that you'd like to see in the future, please let me know. Happy designing.