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Professional Printing Companies and The RGB Model

Jul 3, 2008
There are several issues that need to be considered before choosing a professional printer. One such issue is color. In order to communicate your precise choice of colors to a professional printer it is important to understand the different color models. The RGB color model relates to ensuring that your chosen professional printer faithfully reproduces your color choices.

The RGB system blends red, green and blue to create the full spectrum. Each of the three primary colors of red, green and blue are assigned a value. There are two common ways of assigning values to these three primary hues.

Many drawing programs assign a value ranging between 0 and 255 to each of the aforementioned primary hues. If we assign a value of 255 to one of the three hues and 0 to the remaining two colors, then we will obtain the pure form of the color to which we assigned the value of 255.

For example, pure red will be obtained through the assignment R = 255, G = 0 and B = 0. White corresponds to R = 255, G = 255 and B = 255 while black is given by R = 0, G = 0 and B = 0.

Web technologies often assign hexadecimals to the RGB set of values. A lengthy discussion of hexadecimals is beyond the scope of this article, but we will present a brief description. Each value is represented by a pair of hexadecimals digits. The 16 possible hexadecimal digits are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, a, b, c, d, e and f. The digits a, b, c, d, e and f can be thought of as 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 respectively. In order to find the numerical value of a pair of hexadecimal digits, multiply the left hand digit by 16 and add the result to the value of the right-hand digit. For example, the value of c4 is equal to

12 x 16 + 4 = 192 + 4 = 196

because c = 12. Similarly, ff is equal to 255 because f = 15 so that

15 x 16 + 15 = 240 + 15 = 255

In terms of hexadecimals, red would be within as ff0000, green would be 00ff00, blue is 0000ff, white is equal to ffffff and black is 000000.

Understanding how RGB values are assigned to specific colors is important in avoiding misunderstandings between you and your professional printing company. This is because some companies may use generic terms (e.g., green, yellow, lavender, etc.) for colors. Therefore, for example, the color of yellow that you intended may be different from the shade of yellow used by your professional printer. Providing them with the RGB value of the specific yellow that you wish to use will make it more likely that your professional will faithfully be able to reproduce the same yellow.

If your professional printer sends you an electronic proof prior to the final printing, then you can check to see if the colors within the electronic proof match the colors within your document by using the eyedrop tool that comes with many drawing programs. If you do not have a drawing program which contains an eyedrop tool, then you may download one of the many excellent programs containing an eyedrop tool from the web.

The printed material produced by your professional printing company will be a reflection of your talents and skills. Therefore, it is important to take measures that will ensure that your vision is faithfully reproduced. Understanding the RGB model of colors is an important step toward this goal.
About the Author
In the New Orleans metro area, professional printer products and services are right next door. For a professional project with crisp edges and beautiful sharp images, H & H Print Printing Service, Inc. can offer you precision service. Visit this printing company online at http://www.hhprint.com/.
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