Kevin Montgomery R.G.D.

Additive and Subtractive Colour: Which Way to White?

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Every now and again, I have to remind myself of the difference between additive and subtractive colour, and which colour mode, RGB or CMYK, uses which modal. The way I remind myself is with a simple rule called “which way to white.” It works like this:

Take a piece of paper that has been printed like an advertisement, presumably CMYK ink printed on a white sheet. How do you get the white colour? Take the ink away. Therefore, CMYK = subtractive.

RGB is therefore additive by deduction.

The result: CMYK = subtractive, RGB = additive, and “which way to white” helps you remember that.

1 response(s) to Additive and Subtractive Colour: Which Way to White?

  1. RT @kemosite: New blog post: Additive and Subtractive Colour: Which Way to White? http://kemosite.com/?p=311

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