Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Color Matching

"Result: Circle B still appears lighter than circle A. " - but the truth is...

Color: Why close enough is good enough

| by John McWade
As with most things graphical, there’s a short answer and a long answer. The short answer: Pantone’s Solid-to-Process guide (now called Color Bridge) will give you the closest CMYK to a given Pantone solid. But that represents a small fraction of the millions of possible CMYK mixes. Rogondino’s Process Color Manual will give you 24,000 printed CMYK swatches, which will get you in the ballpark, but it’s still relatively few.
But here’s the thing to know: You don’t need a perfect match. Even if you could roll her wall paint right onto her business card, they wouldn’t look the same.
(Above) Which circle is darker, A or B? You fuss getting your two greens just so, then a shadow crosses the wall. What happens? Our minds compensate for the shifting light. Result: Circle B still appears lighter than circle A. Your swatch book, however, will tell you that color B is both darker and grayer (below).
The takeaway: Get your colors as close as you can, but don’t sweat perfect. Close enough really is good enough.

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