# Thread: Colour wheels: RGB & RYB

1. ## Colour wheels: RGB & RYB

Well, here I am, converting Wellstyled's Colour Wheel from RYB to RGB (for personal use) and wondering: do you guys have any preference? In spite of RYB's tradition, do you believe RGB helps creating more harmonic colour schemes?

And how mathematical are you guys when choosing colours?

2. Just wondering, have I posted this in the right forum?

3. What do you mean with RYB?

4. ## Are you sitting confortably? Then we'll begin...

RYB is the traditional colour wheel, used by artists. Sir Isaac Newton was the first one to come up with this sort of thing. And it was kind of fun. Here, take a look:

Recognise it? It's the colour wheel Jason Beaird used in his "Color for Coders" article. Remember that, when we're in kindergarten and stuff, we're taught stuff like "Yellow plus Red equals Orange"? It all comes from this colour wheel, whose primary colours are red, yellow and blue (they're touching the darker triangle, poiting upwards). Warm colours occupy half of the space and cold colours the other half. That's like a colour Yin Yang. Almost too perfect to be true.

Indeed, it was too perfect to be true.

Scientists then find out that biologically, it doesn't really work that way. Anyway, after studying, researching, analysing, chopping and cooking colours, we ended up having the RGB colour model, ubiquitously present in stuff like computer monitors, TV's and so on.

As you might be assuming, the colour wheels are a bit different. The opposite of "red" in the RYB colour wheel is "green", whereas the opposite of "red" in the RGB colour wheel is cyan - you can test the latter by staring at something red (focus, try not to blink) and then looking at a white surfice: the afterimage is cyan. Here's an example:

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/after.html

That means you have two different colour wheels to choose your colours from. So, which one of them do you guys prefer?

5. RGB works better for on-screen contrast in my opinion, but I'm still partial to RYB because of art classes in school

6. Thank you for the explanation. Yes, I do remember that... but you need to remember that not everyone uses letters to name things . In my country, it was simply named as color wheel and that was it.

I am sorry, in a first moment I thought that, since we were talking about design you were talking about RGB against MCYK (that is, screen vs. printing).

I don't really think that you have much of a choice. We work with screens, so we need to base on the RGB standards...

7. i think just RGB works better than RYB!!
Your explanation for RYb is so good!!

8. God, I suck at following my own threads
Originally Posted by molona
I don't really think that you have much of a choice. We work with screens, so we need to base on the RGB standards...
Not really.

Although I'm very technical myself, Vinnie has a point: RYB was the model used by artists for centuries, and our eyes are culturally used to that. There's nothing wrong in using RYB, it's almost like using different scales in music (a major scale against a minor scale). My now defunct blog used a RYB colour model and it would look completely odd if I had chosen RGB instead, for example

Originally Posted by yuri6312
i think just RGB works better than RYB!!
Your explanation for RYb is so good!!
Thank you

9. Well, I basically use photoshop to sketch my ideas, and photoshop gives RBG numbers (including its hexadecimal expression). I think that is convenient because, although what you say is very true, you need to adapt to the media you are working with.

That's why I think that for web design is better to use RGB.

Still, everyone should use what it works best for him/her.

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