Process Color vs. Spot Color

Process Color vs. Spot Color

You’ve heard so much about Pantone spot colors vs process colors, but what does it all mean? Everything design-related has to do with color. Be it Graphic Design or Fashion Design, color is so important. In simple terms, colors can be separated between spot colors and process colors.

Pantone is the global standard for spot color.  They have created a color matching system in which colors are specially mixed for accuracy across all types of media. Colors are numbered and put into different categories depending on the type of media they will be applied to. Graphic Designers, Fashion Designers and Product Designers are able to communicate to clients across the globe and keep colors consistent.

Process colors are made up of combinations of color. Take CMYK for example. This stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Those four colors are printed as dots. When combined they make up an innumerable amount of colors. The possibilities are endless. CMYK colors are used for printed materials. These are different from the colors you use when making items for a digital screen.

RGB colors are used for digital screens. The letters stand for red, green and blue. There is a similar concept with CMYK, where a combination of red, green and blue create all the color combinations necessary for a digital image. This takes us to a different type of process color called HEX.

HEX colors are used in web design. Each color has a specific number, similar to Pantone spot colors. The numbers keep colors consistent across web pages.

There are so many ways to interpret colors. And the amount of colors that can be made are innumerable. Being a designer really makes you feel like a kid who never had to grow up.

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