Here’s what RGB means to me today: My cranky Epson R1800 printer demanded more difficult-to-find $20 ink cartridges before I could make the prints my client requested.
Once I complied, I was able to make these prints from my Vanishing Austin photography series, which may or may not cover every color under the sun, but certainly sucked up a lot of the RGB ink I had on hand.
Ever wonder what RBG means? The affectionate shorthand a layperson uses to define the colors of the rainbow is ROY G. BIV. (Back to kindergarten if you can’t work out the acronym for those seven colors.) But when it comes to displaying or printing those colors accurately, designers and printers rely upon other shorthand for the space color occupies. And there’s a great deal to know about colorspace, technically, when you’re making prints, shooting photographs, displaying images on a computer screen and printing them on a commercial press for publication. Still, it all comes down to these letters of the alphabet:
- RGB for your inkjet printer settings (Red-Green-Blue)
- sRGB for your computer display and probably your default camera profile (standard Red-Green-Blue)
- CMYK for your commercial printing press (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black)
Confusing, isn’t it? Make a mistake on the color profile, as the industry buffs call it, and be surprised by some ugly printed or displayed results. When in doubt, consult a professional. Results may vary.
That’s the short answer. But probably more than you ever wanted to know about colorspace, right? ♣
- How the Vanishing Austin project began
- The 99+ photographs in the Vanishing Austin series
- More articles in Vanishing Austin blog series
- The Endangered Species of Austin