In this second in our series of pontificating about all things design, we first continue with our shameless rip-off of the formatting style of our friends from theSkimm. Simply because it is as much fun as fanning ourselves with a Pantone color guide while basking in the glorious hues as reflected in our own brand of brilliance!
Repeat After Me
What do you say to your client when they say their logo color is just yellow?
You tell them there is no such thing as “just yellow”! Have you ever heard of PMS? No, not the state of mind kind. PMS stands for Pantone Matching System, which means defining and blending match colors.
PMS is the universally spoken language of the graphically gifted. It is literally the designer’s bible when it comes to colors.
Besides a rock star ton of talent, designers live by this reference guide because it is a standard. Showcasing swatches of over 700 colors, it gives printers the formulas for making those colors. You might have seen these swanky swatch books designers tote and guard with their lives. This PMS book guides designers on choosing what PMS colors they will use in their designs. Branding is consistency and consistency is branding. BTW, your logo is not just yellow, it’s Pantone 3514 C.
What do you do once you are officially stamped Pantone 3514 C?
Well, once you have your PMS colors picked out then you can translate that formula into CMYK mode. An awkward acronym, it breaks down into: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key color (aka — black).
This color model (also called process color, four color) is a subtractive color model used in color printing. When printing a brochure design for example, it is a lot cheaper to use the CMYK value verses the custom PMS color.
Speaking of cost savings – the perpetual cry of any savvy business owner – if you are designing for digital media, in other words, you are not seeking printed hard copies of your designs, you will want to use RGB colors.
RGB: Red, Green, Blue is the color model used to project color on a computer monitor. By combining these three colors, a large percentage of the visible color spectrum can be represented. RGB colors can be found on web banners, landing pages and web sites. RGB colors are also translated into Hex colors. Hex colors are web-safe colors made up of a # sign followed by 6 numbers.
So…consider the RGB color of your favorite marketing company – CRUSH’s sumptuous lime green – it would be (R:96,G:182,B;68) and in hex colors it is #60B644.
And finally, because without the absence of color we would not appreciate the wonderful world of shades and tints and their splashes, we must not forget about Grayscale – aka the range of shades of gray without apparent color. The darkest possible shade is black, which is the total absence of transmitted or reflected light. The lightest possible shade is white, which is black and white.
We are the world. We are the rainbow. Let there be color! And dazzling light to shine upon it.