Foundations in Graphic Communications: Checking Color Proofs

New York City College Of Technology
Advertising Design & Graphic Arts: NYCCT

The Course At A Glance


Foundations in Graphic Communications
Patrick Henry     (p) 718.847.9430     (c) 917.647.0590     (e)

Color Gamuts: visible, rgb, cmyk, Pantone
  Because of physical difference in how various devices produce colors, each scanner, display, and printer has a different gamut, or range of colors, that it can represent. The RGB color gamut can only display approximately 70% of the colors which can be perceived. The CMYK color gamut is much smaller, reproducing about 20% of perceivable colors. The color gamut achieved with premixed inks (like the Pantone Matching System) is also smaller than the RGB gamut. Note that there are many PMS colors which don't have matches in the CMYK color gamut.


Typically, the RGB gamut contains colors that can be viewed on a computer or on a television monitor (which emits red, green, and blue light). Therefore, some colors, such as pure cyan or pure yellow, can't be displayed accurately on a monitor. The CMYK gamut is smaller, consisting only of colors that can be printed using process-color inks. When colors that cannot be printed are displayed on-screen, they are referred to as out-of-gamut colors—that is, outside the CMYK gamut

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