Inks & the CMY colour model
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Inks & the CMY colour model
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About the diagram
ABOUT THE DIAGRAM
Some key terms
A subtractive colour model combines different hues of a colourant such as a pigment, paint, ink, dye or powder to produce other colours.
- CMYK is a subtractive colour model.
- CMYK pigments are the standard for colour printing because they have a larger gamut than RGB pigments.
- CMYK printing typically uses white paper which has good reflective properties and then adds cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink or toner to produce colour.
- Highlights are produced by reducing the amount of coloured ink and printing without black to allow the maximum amount of light to reflect off the paper through the ink.
- Mid tones rely on the brilliance and transparency of the pigments and the reflectivity of the paper to produce fully saturated colours.
- Shadows are produced by adding black to both saturated or desaturated hues.
- Colour wheels can enhance understanding of colour relationships and assist with the accurate selection and reproduction of colours.
- A colour wheel consists of segments representing primary colours. Additional segments are added between them to explore the outcome of mixing adjacent primary colours.
- By adding more segments between existing ones, further mixing of adjacent colours can be explored.
- A colour wheel exploring the additive RGB colour model starts with red, green, and blue primary colours.
- A colour wheel exploring the subtractive CMY colour model starts with cyan, magenta, and yellow primary colours.
A colour model is the how-to part of colour theory. Together they establish terms and definitions, rules or conventions and a system of notation for encoding colours and their relationships with one another.
A colour model is a way of:
- Making sense of the colours we see around us in the world.
- Understanding the relationship of colours to one another.
- Understanding how to mix each type of coloured media to produce predictable results.
- Specifying colours using names, codes, notation, equations etc.
- Organising and using colours for different purposes.
- Using colours in predictable and repeatable ways.
- Working out systems and rules for mixing and using different types of colour.
- Creating colour palettes, gamuts and colour guides.
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