Adobe RGB colour space

The Adobe RGB (1998) colour space was developed by Adobe Systems. It aims to ensure the optimal range of colours available within the RGB colour model and the CMKY colour model are accurately reproduced when output to a digital display or printer.

The purpose of RGB (1998) was to improve on the gamut of colours that can be produced by the earlier sRGB colour space, primarily in the reproduction of cyan-green hues. It can reproduce roughly 50% of the colours an observer is capable of seeing in ideal conditions.

  • The general purpose of a colour space is to determine the range of colours available within a specific workflow and may be determined by a user or programmatically.
  • In a digital environment, the aim is to ensure that a selected range of colours appears the same throughout a workflow and that the expected range of colours is successfully reproduced at the end of the process.
About colour spaces
  • A colour space aims to accurately define the relationship between any selected colour within a colour model and how it will appear when it is reproduced by a specific device such as a digital display, printer or paint mixing machine.
  • When an artist chooses a limited number of tubes of oil paint to add to a palette they are already working within the RYB subtractive colour model and are establishing the colour space within which they plan to work.
  • A colour space may aim to restrict the number of colours or establish the widest possible gamut of reproducible colours.
  • Digital colour spaces are commonly used to accurately set the range of colours that can be output to and then displayed by digital screens and printers.
  • The Pantone colour collection which is widely used for mixing paint defines its colour space by:
    • Establishing a set of inter-related colour swatches that a user can choose from
    • Giving each swatch a name or code
    • Calibrating a paint machine (or another type of equipment) to accurately reproduce the colour of each swatch
  • When a colour space is to be matched with a specific digital device such as a projector or printer, a colour profile is loaded along with the image file to ensure accurate colour reproduction.
  • A colour profile is a program that allows a piece of equipment such as a digital printer to know how to handle and process the information it receives so that it can produce the intended colour output.