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The Two Types of Color

Although there are lots of ways to classify color (for example, primary colors, warm and cool colors, earth tones, and pastels), for the Adobe Creative Suite the largest determining factor is how colors are reproduced. The resulting color can be similar, but the differences in how additive and subtractive colors are created result in different treatment in your artwork, page layouts, and Web pages.


Colors in Photoshop and Illustrator can be considered additive or subtractive. Additive colors produce white when all colors are combined (added) at full strength. Subtractive colors produce white by removing (subtracting) all component colors. Conversely, a lack of color in an additive model produces black, whereas combining all colors in a subtractive model black.


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