DES2104 – Wk 6 Lecture

Week 6 was all about colour, which is good. I like colours 😀

Unfortunately one of the problems about colours when it comes to creating on a screen to be printed out is that “we work in opposite colour systems” (Medley, 2013). When we’re working on a monitor we’re looking at additive colours (the RGB gamut), and yet when we print things out it’s through subtractive colours (the CMYK gamut).

When working between these two formats, it is important to be aware that significant differences can occur as not all the same types of colours are represented. Thankfully if you have a great need to print a colour that’s unavailable in the CMYK gamut, it is possible to have a specific type mixed for you; in Australia these are generally referred to as ‘Pantone‘ colours in relation to the brand, but are also called ‘Pre Mixed Colours’ / Spot colours / Solid Colours. But then to make the job of getting the ‘right’ colour even more complex, these two formats still cannot fully represent the range of colours we can see in the real world. Gah!


We also learnt about screening (using little dots to create an overall colour). This is similar to the ‘dotted letter’ activity we did last week to make letters appear light grey. There are different types of screening, such as conventional and stochastic, which can be used to represent the same types of tones.

Handy thing to note:
‘Solid’ colours are named us such because they’re not made up with little dots ala screening. However, you can still have a solid colour made up, and then screen that!

One last thing; in class we were shown that you can buy books and cards that show each Pantone colour (so that you can order it) and how you can mix it to create every other colour. However I thought it would also be worth sharing that there’s actually a book (on of a kind) that contains every single RGB colour. How awesome is that!?


Medley, S. (2013, April 4). It looked good on the screen! An introduction to colour limitations. Lecture presented in Vector Illustration. Edith Cowan University, Western Australia.

[Image 1] Colour Differences [Screengrab]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[Image 2] Dot [Digital Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[Image 3] Tauba Auerbach: RGB colorspace atlas [Photograph]. (2012). Retrieved from

[Image 4] Colour Cube 05 [Photograph]. (2012). Retrieved from

[Image 5] Colour Cube 04 [Photograph]. (2012). Retrieved from

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