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How-To Geek

Color Space

Color space is an abstract mathematical system used to describe colors using numerical values. While there are dozens of color space models, the two the average person comes in contact with on a day to day basis are RGB and CMYK. The RGB (Red Green Blue) color space is the color space used for computer monitors and all derivative screen types (tablets, smartphones, etc. all have RGB-based screens). CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK) color spaces are used for printing. Whether on a home printer or high end dye-sublimation printer, those four colors are combined to create millions of different shades.

Within any given color space, there is a precise numerical value for every single shade that can be represented within that color space. Within the RGB color space, for example, the three principal colors–Red, Green, and Blue–can be displayed via electronic display by sending a signal with the maximum value in each respective slot and a zero value in the others. Thus, 0-0-255 in RGB displays the most intense shade of blue available in the RGB color space.

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