Using different color spaces is a common reason for printing or displaying inaccurate colors.
In fact, when use the right way, they provide the ability to produce repeatable accurate colors.
What do we see?
We see the reflected light, bouncing off the surfaces of objects in our environment.
Some of that light is absorbed by the surface, and the rest is reflected. So, if an object absorbs all the colors in the full spectrum, except green – green will be the color we see.
This is a color space intended for screens and displays. Combining red, green and blue spectrum of light to achieve different colors, the emitted light is observed directly. When the three colors are combined equally the result is white light. RGB provides wide spectrum and vibrant colors. This is due to the fact that the light is directly observed.
This color space is used with inks in the printing industry. The inks are placed on a white sheet, absorbing parts of the full spectrum, before the light is reflected from the white sheet surface. The basic inks combine to produce bigger variety of colors. The three main colors – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow – combine equally to form neural colors all the way up to black. The last color K – black – is used for better density and save ink. CMYK colors are usually less vibrant than RBG colors because rather than using light, you’re using ink to create colors.
Pantone Matching System is based on a special mixture of inks.
In order to avoid even the slightest difference in colors, often a Pantone color is used. The colors are produced using specific recepies and pigments. This is the reason why reproducing Pantone colors with CMYK inks is usually inaccurate.