The RGB, CMYK and Pantone Difference Guide

What's the Difference Between Pantone, CMYK, and RGB Colors?


  1. What is RGB?
  2. What is CMYK?
  3. What is Pantone?

Every person who deals with design on a daily basis should know the difference between CMYK and RGB.

The most comprehensive knowledge flying around the internet says: RGB is always for the web, CMYK colors - for print shop materials, but let’s take a more detailed look!

What is RGB?

colors schemes

The name ‘RGB’ was inspired by the names of three primary colors: Red, Green, Blue. These are the colors that are added together in different variations and create a vast number of new colors. This kind of a color model is used on the electronic devices for the presentation and display of the images.

This is the additive system; it means that to get the black color you need to blend all the primary colors.
Just stop for a second and make sure you understand, that right now you’re reading an article on a screen of your laptop or a smartphone. It means that all the colors on your screen are currently displayed with the help of the RGB color model!


What is CMYK?


This is the color model that is usually used in the printed materials. The abbreviation comes from the colors of CMYK inks: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. The last ‘K’ letter means the ‘Key’ because black is the first color used for the outline.

This is the subtractive system, so it means that white color is the absence of any color.

Do you want to see how the printing industry is using CMYK? Have you ever bought yourself a magazine? That’s a dumb question, of course, you did. So it means that when you open a new issue of your favorite magazine, you are holding an example of the CMYK color model usage.

What is Pantone?


Now when you know the difference between the RGB and CMYK, let’s see how to use Pantone color book.

Pantone is the company that specifies in defining the colors. The Pantone matching system that they invented makes sure that any manufacturer on any location can be sure that the color they use will match the ordered one, they can find Pantone color code for it in a Pantone color manager. That’s all because of the standardized system that they’ve implemented.

Each color has a reference Pantone code that can be used to identify it.

The Pantone colors palette includes more than a 1,000 colors now, and anyone can access the actual database to make sure that they use the correct color. It is also straightforward to find the closest Pantone color with the Pantone color management system. This might be appropriate in this piece, we have a number of templates with color switcher you definitely need to check them out.

website themes

Read Also

What is CMYK?

Pantone or Pantone Color Matching System

100 Real Color Palettes Inspired by Best-Selling Digital Products

How Color Can Draw Attention to Your Website

RGB Color Model

Alex Tkachenko

Creative writer passionate about WordPress and all that technical stuff. Meet Alex in person on LinkedIn.

Get more to your email

Subscribe to our newsletter and access exclusive content and offers available only to MonsterPost subscribers.

From was successfully send!
Server error. Please, try again later.

Leave a Reply