Designers use a variety of color systems, based on the project’s needs and goals.
CMYK is a color system in which colors are created using a combination of cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y) and black (K) inks. CMYK is also referred to as four-color process printing.
PMS (Pantone Matching System) is a standardized color system in which each ink color is assigned a number, i.e. PMS 179. This allows print vendors to assure color accuracy. PMS colors are often used for branding projects (usually 1 or 2 colors) in which color match is crucial. PMS colors are also called spot colors.
RGB (red, green, blue) is a color system used by computer monitors and video screens. RGB colors are difficult to match as brightness and quality can vary by monitor.
Hex is a six-digit color system used for web applications (i.e. HTML and CSS). Colors are specified like this: #CD5C5C.