Use of RBG and CMYK

In this topic, you will learn about, Use of RBG and CMYK.

When to use RGB

If the end destination of your design project is a digital screen, use the RGB color mode. This would go for anything that involves computers, smartphones, tablets, TVs, cameras, etc.

Turn to RGB if your design project involves:

  • Web & app design
    • icons
    • buttons
    • graphics
  • Branding
    • online logos
    • online ads
  • Social media
    • images for posts
    • profile pictures
    • profile backgrounds
  • Visual content
    • video
    • digital graphics
    • infographics
    • photographs for website, social media, or apps

Best file formats for RGB

  • JPEGs are ideal for RGB files because they’re a nice middle-ground between file size and quality, and they’re readable almost anywhere.
  • PSD is the standard source file for RGB documents, assuming all team members are working with Adobe Photoshop.
  • PNGs support transparency and are better for graphics that need to be superimposed over others. Consider this file type for interface elements like buttons, icons or banners.
  • GIFs capture motion, so if you’re using an animated element, such as a moving logo or a bouncing icon, this file type would be ideal.
  • It’s best to avoid TIFF, EPS, PDF, and BMP for RGB purposes. These formats are not compatible with most software, not to mention they can be unnecessarily large in terms of data.

When to use CMYK

Use CMYK for any project design that will be physically printed, not viewed on a screen. If you need to recreate your design with ink or paint, the CMYK color mode will give you more accurate results.

Turn to CMYK if your project involves:

  • Branding
    • business cards
    • stationary
    • stickers
    • signs & storefronts
  • Advertising
    • billboards
    • posters
    • flyers
    • vehicle wraps
    • brochures
  • Merchandise
    • t-shirts, hats, and other branded clothing shirts, hats and other branded clothing
    • promotional swag (pens, mugs, etc.)promotional swag (pens, mugs, etc.)
  • Essential materials
    • product packaging
    • restaurant menus

Best file formats for CMYK

  • PDFs are ideal for CMYK files because they are compatible with most programs.
  • AI is the standard source file for CMYK, assuming all team members are working with Adobe Illustrator.
  • EPS can be a great source file alternative to AI because it is compatible with other vector programs.
  • All things considered, it’s always best to consult your printer beforehand to find out which file format they prefer.