Why Do Display Technologies Effect The Way Colors Look


Color can be one of the most important aspects when printing. The same color can look completely different depending on the device you are using. This is because of the different display technologies. In this blog we will discuss the difference between RGB, CMYK, Hex Colors, and PMS Colors. We will also examine why color display technologies changes the way the color looks.


Difference in Color Modes

RGB, CMYK, Hex Colors, and PMS Colors are color modes. Each one has a specific use and is used for different purposes. RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue and is know as an additive color. Most common place RGB Color Mode is utilized is in televisions, computer screens, cameras, and more. Therefore, anything that is light-based is typically RGB Color Mode. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and a “Key” or black and is subtractive colors.  All prints, such as banners, signs, pictures, newspapers, books, etc use CMYK Color Modes. Hex Colors are used on web pages and for coding. They are a alphanumerical reference to an RGB Color Mode, #RRGGBB (RR - percent of red, GG - percent of green, BB - percent of blue). PMS stands for Pantone Matching System and is used to accurately communicate colors to a wide variety of platforms and equipment. We utilize a diverse set of color modes on a day to day basis and is a vital piece to understand in the printing and IT industry.

Reason Why Display Technologies Effect The Way Color Looks

You may have noticed the same image color may appear different on one screen vs someone next to you. This is due to the display technologies. The most common display technologies that affect light are Electroluminescent Display (ELD), Light Emitting Diode Display (LED), Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), Plasma Display Panel (PDP), and Digital Light Processing (DLP).


Electroluminescent Display (ELD)

ELD's are a layer of electroluminescent material in the middle of two thin sheets of conductors. Visual light is formed when a current flows and the material emits radiation.




Light Emitting Diode Display (LED)

LED's have become very popular over the last few years. Common places to see LED displays is in billboards and store signs. An LED display is a flat panel display where the panel is the light source. The flat panel uses light emitting diodes as pixels, the video or display.



Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

When a layer of liquid crystal is in between two transparent electrodes you get a visual display most commonly used in electronic devises. This is a Liquid Crystal Display. LCDs are in items we use on a daily basis. They are in your phone, laptop computers, small televisions, digital clocks, and much more.


Plasma Display Panel (PDP)


However, when you're watching television, you are most likely watching on a plasma display panel. Plasma displays are pixels in the screen that illuminate from a tiny bit of charged gas or plasma that seem like neon light. LCDs are dimmer than plasma displays and are typically in televisions smaller than 30 inches.



Digital Light Processing (DLP)

DLP uses a digital micro-mirror device to allow the creation of an image though projecting and displaying 3D. This is based on optical micro-electro-mechanical technology. Texas Instruments developed Digital Light Processing in 1987.

How This Affects The Work We Do

Knowing that each display technology shows color differently, it is especially important for businesses like Mondo to have the CMYK break down to ensure prints will be the proper color. Mondo Solutions strives to develop the best quality that is above the customers expectations. Printing is a world of colors and designs that need to be displayed correctly and match the companies brand.



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