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Color Sytems: Additive and Subtractive

It is not uncommon to meet graphic designers who don’t know about additive and subtractive color systems. Those who have read about color management would know how ever. Those who don’t, I urge you to read on the topic, so you can get consistent color reproduction across displays and print devices, Below is a simple as it is explanation of additive and subtractive color systems.

Additive Color
Anything you see on a computer screen is an example of the additive color system. This is where the primary colors red, green and blue are mixed together to produce all the colors you see on screen.

Subtractive Color
Anything you see beyond the screen such as wood, your skin, print and paper are a result of the subtractive color system. Here, color is created by absorbing or subtracting certain wavelengths of color while reflecting the other back which is what you see.