Both colors and typography are different when used on the Web or on graphics. The differences are significant in some cases and not so much in others, but being informed is always better than regretting it. In this brief section, we will show the greatest difference as regards colors and typography when being used on the internet and on graphics.
monitors, TVs and any digital media can reproduce colors belonging to the RGB palette (red, green and blue). These basic palette colors can be seen if you splash water on the TV or monitor and watch closely: you will notice that the light is split up in these three colors. You need to add the bright issue: a monitor or TV projects light while a cloth or paper reflects it, so there will be a significant difference in bright.
Printers reproduce colors belonging to the palette called CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). RGB palette is much wider than CMYK palette and that is why designs developed for graphic media using a wider palette cannot be printed without undergoing changes. In order to print something designed for RGB, the designer must convert the colors used into the closest CMYK color existing. Most of the times, the difference is almost invisible, but it is a bit more noticeable in some cases. However, even big corporations must suffer this: that is to say, there is no problem and you do not worry about it. Knowing that this happens is more than enough.
Typography is divided in two: serif and sans serif. The first one uses serifs on its fonts. Serifs are cuts on the end of the fonts acting as a kind of support for them. These cuts come from the times when technology was not enough to make font matrixes for printer or be neatly carved. To solve this, the use of serifs cutting and straitening the ends was adopted. The second one lacks serifs and it is much more current. When there was enough technological development, the printer font matrixes could be made without needing to cut. Times New Roman is an example of the serif ones and Arial, example of the ones without serif.
Studies prove that serif typography helps reading better and prevents the reader from getting tired and distracted. That is why all graphic publications (or at least most of the reliable ones) use this type of fonts for long texts (a headline is not considered a long text but a brief article is). The opposite thing happens on the Internet. Since monitors do not have enough resolution yet so as to define the font serifs appropriately, using them makes reading harder since, due to lack of resolution, there is a kind of fog over the typography. That is why san serif typographies are always used on the Internet. You can check it if you wish to, visiting some pages and taking a look at the typography they use...
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