There are different color formats depending on the use of the creative. The color format depends on final output. The basic formats are RGB and CMYK. So what do all of these letters mean?
RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue which are additive primary colors or starting colors. Variations of each color can mix to produce a multitude of color combinations. RGB is a used on some digital printers but is the preferred format for digital output since it accurately views when used in multimedia creative projects.
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and these are subtractive primary colors. Just like RGB percents of each color can be mixed to create a multitude of colors. This color system is primarily used for offset printing. A plate is made for each Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black showing various values of each color. When combined these four colors can create the visual of a vivid photograph.
There is also another color system widely used in printing called Pantone Matching System. Nothing is mixed it is just the color of the paint used. There are thousands and thousands of Pantone colors to choose from, with each color assigned a specific number. This is great for one color print jobs and is usually used in offset printing and screen printing.
Choosing the right color system for your project can determine how accurate your colors are in the final creative product and the using the right color system for your project can save you money.