Available Color Modes

Objects in Flexi Design can be defined using the color modes shown below.

One important distinction to make are Process Colors and Spot Colors. A Process Color is a color that begins in a given color mode that has a gamut of color it can reach with a predetermined set of combined values. RGB, CMYK, LAB, and HSV are process colors. It is then processed into CMYK or whatever ink set your printer has when it is RIP'd. A Spot Color does not start in a gamut and can call for a specific color on your printer out a specific ink tank, but if your printer does not have a special ink tank for that Spot Color, it will be treated as a process color.


The color is expressed as a combination of red, green, and blue values. Since monitors operate with Red, Green, and Blue pixels, this is the color mode most commonly used for computer graphics.


RGB works as an additive color scheme, meaning it starts with Black and adds combinations of Red, Green, and Blue to produce colors, using a scale of 0-255. When all three colors are set to 255, you get White.


The color is expressed as a combination of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black values. This is the primary color mode for Printing


Printing begins with a white material and uses combinations cyan, magenta, yellow and black to subtract color from white until you reach the desired color. It works inversely from RGB, and requires Black to reduce brightness or hue.


The CIE LAB mode is a device-independent color mode that expresses color using a luminance value and two chrominance values. Since it is not based on printing or monitors, it is a universal standard.



Spot colors are very specific colors that are created with a pure, singular ink color instead of processed using a combination of CMYK.

Outside of special ink scenarios, spot colors are used across the industry to identify an extremely specific color using CMYK, RGB, or LAB.


Since we're working with a single color, the Spot Color channel only reduces saturation.


HSB is an older system that expresses color using values for hue, saturation, and value (brightness). It has largely been replaced by RGB.



Duotone colors are made by overlaying two spot colors. The color that is printed first is called the base color; the color that is printed on top of the base is called the top color.


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