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Chapter 12. Color > Describing Color

Describing Color

In a perfect world you would be able to say, “I want this object to be burnt sienna,” and your computer, service bureau, and lithographer would know exactly the color you mean. Outside of picking Crayola colors, however, this just can't be done. Everyone from scientists to artists to computer programmers has been trying for centuries to come up with a general model for specifying and re-creating colors. In the past 50 years alone, these color models have been created: HSB, NTSC, CMYK, YIQ, CIE, PAL, HSL, RGB, CCIR, RS-170, and HSI, among others. (And you thought that graphic file-format names were far out!)

QuarkXPress presently handles four color models (RGB, CMYK, HSB, and Lab), plus several color-matching systems, or libraries: Focoltone, TruMatch, Toyo, DIC, Pantone Coated, Pantone Uncoated, Pantone Process, Pantone Solid to Process, and Pantone Hexachrome. Because these color models are intimately connected with printing and other reproduction methods, I'll first discuss the particulars of printing color, then move into each color model in turn.


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