RGB vs CMYK : What is the difference?

RGB vs CMYK : What is the difference?

RGB vs CMYK – What is the difference between RGB and CMYK? Simply put, it’s just different ways of processing colors. Painters mix paint to make the perfect color palette. Digital designers also mix colors to create palettes, photography, and more. CMYK is the process of mixing 4 basic colors, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, to make thousands of colors and realistic images in the printing process. RGB is the process of mixing three basic colors along with light, Red, Green, and Blue. The RGB color process was invented in the digital process when we started using televisions, computers, and retina displays.

RGB is an additive color model that uses Red, Green, Blue, and light for screens and monitors. CMYK is a subtractive color model used for printing made of four colors: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. Black is the key color that provides the detail. That is where we get the K in CMYK.

Check out this graphic from our friends at Visual Pro:

rgb vs cmyk

The RGB process has made a huge splash in the design world now that we have retina displays at our fingertips that can interpret millions of colors. The technology is changing so quickly, but it is important to know the basic concept and why.

The timeline of RGB actually dates back before the electronic age and has roots in photography. But it made its debut with desktop computers in the 70’s displaying an amazing palette of 16 colors. RGB made its next splash with 24-bit monitors and then again with HTML with its 24bit color palette. Now our monitors and phones can interpret millions of colors with RGB.

What is RGB?

RGB is an acronym for Red Green Blue. Based on these three colors plus light, you can create a spectrum of colors. This color combination plus millions of tiny lights allows us to see images on digital items, such as televisions, projection systems, computers, and cell phones. RGB has advanced so rapidly with displays that we can now see millions of colors, just by applying a combination of Red, Green, and Blue.

Why should you care? Using the wrong color settings can cause your print projects to come out too dark or your website images to appear muddy and non-vibrant. RGB and CMYK are settings in most design programs that interpret the colors for us. Designers build graphics based on the end product and adjust settings to make your project perfect. If your end goal is digital, keep it RGB, but if you are looking to get something printed, you may want to change your mode to CMYK.

What is CMYK?

CMYK is a combination of 4 transparent colors; (c)yan, (m)agenta, (y)ellow, and blac(k). The K stands for “Key” – This is always black ink and helps finalize the details. This process is actually pretty awesome, and if you ever get to go to a printing press that uses CMYK plates, it’s an interesting process to watch. The printing press makes 4 plates (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). Ink is then applied to each plate and paper runs through the press perfectly lining up to make a final image.

Check out this graphic from Printing Solutions:

cmyk or rgb for print

It doesn’t feel possible that combining those four colors would produce such a vivid image of color, but it does. Magic… science… same thing.

We use CMYK for the printing process. This is how the ink is distributed on our inkjet home printers and our large 4 color press printers. Same theory.

If the final destination of your graphic is not printed, this setting can make your color look a little muddy or not as vibrant. If it is really important that the color is exact for you, you will want to have a designer with a calibrated monitor help or do some test prints from the printer.

Hex Codes and Web Safe Color

Since not all monitors are the same, designing for the web can be tricky. Even if I use my RGB settings, things can differ based on the display type. Monitors and displays are constantly advancing also, but Hex codes are a way to keep your colors as consistent as possible. A hex code is a code of 6 letters and numbers that basically tell the monitor how to interpret the RGB color. Choosing web safe colors is still best practice to have consistency across displays, but this rule seems to have less value lately as most of the population have modern displays.

This is a good reference for web safe hex values.

One thing to note – make sure the numbers or letters are the same in each segment. This formula ensures that the color is going to be web safe. Like #CCFF00 is web safe because the numbers match up, while #CF01RR will not be as consistent across all displays.

Hex Codes still interpret color in an additive RGB format; it is simply the code telling the website how much color to display.

Color Blindness on the Web

Because not every person sees things the same, we have to make sure content is still visible for our color blind friends and coworkers. Making sure your background and type have enough contrast is a good rule of thumb. Also, making sure that you don’t use certain colors on top of each other like red and green. Color combos and fancy backgrounds can be fun, but don’t forget websites are still a tool to deliver information. Check out this really cool tool that will help you make sure your site is color friendly.

The difference between RGB and CMYK

Here are the main things to keep in mind as you prepare graphics for output. CMYK setting is for print and is made of four colors in a subtractive color model like paint. RGB is a setting that uses light and an additive color model to make vibrant colors on our digital displays.

Thanks for stopping by. The team at Root & Roam know some things about color, so if you are having trouble on a project, let Root & Roam help!

How To Create A Great Newsletter

How To Create A Great Newsletter

Newsletters are one example of email marketing, which is just a small segment of a digital marketing strategy. 

Unlike transactional email marketing (an email that is triggered when a user performs a calculated action), newsletters have (or should have) a regular cadence and should be sent to only certain segments of your overall email list. Newsletter marketing is intended to build a relationship between your brand and the lead or customer you’re targeting. 

Newsletters can contain all sorts of content, from company announcements to information about product launches. However, the ultimate goal of a newsletter is to build relationships, drive traffic to your website, roll out a new product or service, or generate or qualify leads. And you want to compel your readers to take some sort of action that benefits your brand or business. 

We’ve outlined a few tips on what makes a great newsletter and why you should send one. Keep in mind that newsletter marketing is serious business, so if you don’t have the resources to support it, consider working with a marketing agency to help you. 

In the meantime, here are a few tips to creating a newsletter with purpose that we believe your readers will enjoy. We’ve also added some Root and Roam tips for you to try. Read on!

Bring Value To Your Readers


If you’re considering creating a newsletter or want to revamp the newsletter you already have, consider these questions:


Why do I need a newsletter?


How do we measure our success?


Are we providing content the reader wants?


Do we have the resources to support the creation, distribution, and analysis of a newsletter?


Who are our readers? Do they even read newsletters?


How will we promote our newsletter?

Know your readers, and consider creating content they will be interested in, not just something to fill up their inbox. If you bring them real value, they will respond.

Remember, we all get a lot of email, so take that into consideration when you’re creating your newsletter.

Root and Roam Tip: Consider segmenting your newsletter email list and targeting content to that specific email group. Example: if you can identify your most loyal customers, consider a referral program and incentivize them to bring in new customers.



Newsletters are usually part of your overall content strategy, which is part of your digital strategy. Each element within your digital marketing strategy should work holistically to achieve your business goals.

After you’ve created your customer personas (that’s a different blog), ensure that your targeted customer wants to receive their information from a newsletter. This is important because demographic information dictates strategy, so leverage it when considering if your target audience responds well to newsletters. And include topics and themes that are tied to a bigger strategy, company goal, or objective.

Root and Roam Tip: Put your most important content at the top of your newsletter. The top of your newsletter gets the most attention from your readers.



There are dozens of newsletter platforms on the market, so it may be a challenge to choose the right one. We won’t get into details on which ones are our favorite, but here are just a few features you should look for if you’re considering distributing a newsletter.

Keep it simple – Use a platform that allows you to drag and drop or create the newsletter easily. There are plenty of platforms out there that provide a very simple newsletter template allowing you to include your own color palette, branding, and content.

Make sure it measures – Analytics are important. Make sure the newsletter platform you choose measures the effectiveness of each newsletter. Wondering what to measure? You’ll want to measure how engaged your audience was by looking at the “open rate.” This demonstrates how many people actually opened your newsletter. You’ll also want to look at the “click-through-rate” or CTR. This will show you how many people clicked through to your website or whatever platform you’re directing them to. Pay attention to your unsubscribe rate, too. If you see a high unsubscribe rate, consider creating a new newsletter strategy.

Root and Roam Tip: The average open rate for a newsletter is 15-25%, and the average CTR is 2.5%. Consider setting two types of goals: benchmark level goals (meet the industry average) and “stretch goals,” exceeding the industry average.



Your subject line may be the most important piece of content in your entire newsletter.

According to Optinmonster, 47% of people open an email based solely on the subject line, while 76% of people will report the email as spam based on the subject line.

And remember, people don’t just receive information on their desktop. Consider the right length of your subject line based on a mobile device.

Finally, it’s okay to be playful with your subject line, so if you feel emojis project the sort of message you want, use them!

Root and Roam Tip: As creative as you may want to get with your subject line, make sure it represents the content inside the newsletter.



Let’s face it, we are consuming more and more data as technology makes it simpler for us to access it. No one wants to read pages and pages of information.

You may have a lot to say, but don’t use your newsletter to tell it all. Your newsletter should focus on one or two main topics presented in engaging and fun ways. Too much content is a turn-off to your reader, and you could end up with a high open rate and a low click through rate.

Think about keeping it light and succinct. Don’t go on and on about a subject. And leverage a storytelling format. People love good stories, so tell one when you’re creating your content.

Root and Roam Tip: People love behind the scenes content. Consider showcasing how something is made or how business is conducted in your organization.



Your email list is an asset to your business; it’s something you grow, nurture, and leverage when necessary. Think of it as a garden; you put a lot of work into tending to it, it grows and grows, but you still have to tend to it in order to get it to deliver the best bounty. Your email list works the same.

Use an “opt-in” list only. Opting in to receive information from your business is vital to growing your list organically and important to your business’s reputation. There are single opt-in and double opt-in options. Double opt-in is a two-step process allowing the reader to agree twice to receiving information from your business. Although the double opt-in feature might reduce your email list, it is still the best way to ensure people really want communication from you.

Aside from wanting to grow your email list the right way, it’s also the law. The laws are in place to deter people from receiving unwanted and unsolicited information and spam.

Root and Roam Tip: Never purchase an email list. Not only could this negatively affect your brand, most newsletter platforms will freeze your account if you try uploading massive lists at one time.



Your newsletter should have purpose and tie back strategically to your overall goals and objectives. This is where your CTA plays a role in your newsletter.

The CTA should be prominently placed throughout your newsletter – meaning more than once – and be designed well for maximum visibility.

Use text that is actionable and engaging when creating your CTA. If given the choice between “Click here for more information” or “Get your discount,” which one would be more enticing?

Root and Roam Tip: Create a sense of urgency with your CTA. “Shop now – only 6 left” or “30% off today only” are great examples of CTAs that inspire you to act quickly!

Check your newsletter across digital platforms


Generation Z now makes up 27 percent of the entire US population. What does that mean to me, you may ask? Well, if you’re marketing products or services to this demographic, who grew up on mobile devices, you better ensure your newsletter looks great and functions properly on this platform. More and more people are using their mobile phones to get their information, so when creating your newsletter, be sure to check that it works across devices. Check all versions before you hit send: desktop, laptop, mobile device and tablet.

Just one bad experience with your brand on any digital platform, and you may lose that customer forever.

Root and Roam Tip: Be sure and send a “test” version of your newsletter to your colleagues and have them check it on all platforms. This will ensure your audience gets the best version of your newsletter.

Promote your newsletter!


It’s important to grow your email list, and you can only do this by promoting your awesome newsletter! Consider embedding a sign up form on your website and social media platforms. Encourage people to sign up, and perhaps tie a contest in with it.

Website pop-up windows are a great way to get people to sign up, and if you couple that with a contest, giveaway, or discount code, your sign up rate will increase.

Don’t be pushy. Let your audience feel like they are participating in something that will provide value to them.

Root and Roam Tip: Include a “share” option within your newsletter so your reader can forward your newsletter on, share it across their social media platforms, and encourage their friends, family, and social community to be a part of your newsletter.

Holiday Marketing Matters: Three Big Ways To Bolster Your Holiday E-Commerce Business

Holiday Marketing Matters: Three Big Ways To Bolster Your Holiday E-Commerce Business

Many of us eagerly anticipate and look forward to the holidays. It’s a time for celebration, family, good food, and what we hope is just the right amount of snow. With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we’re quickly coming into the 2020 holiday season. As a business owner, you may look forward to the holiday season in more ways than one, as sales typically increase and for many businesses, it’s the busiest time of the year. Retail businesses see close to twenty percent of their annual sales during the months of November and December, average holiday spending has been trending upward for the last ten years, and over 80% of holiday shopping is done by the end of November

If you’re part of an e-commerce business, it’s clear that more and more people are doing their shopping online. Last year over 20% of holiday shopping was done online, and that number is sure to multiply given the circumstances of the 2020 season. So, what can you do as a business owner to better serve your customers, increase your sales, and make the season as free from stress as possible? We’re going to cover that in this blog.



We love working to better serve our customers, and this is a good area to start with when evaluating how to help an ecommerce business grow. Ensuring that your customers have the best user experience on your website helps rule out barriers that may be getting in between a person’s interest in your products and their ability to purchase them. A few elements to focus on include:


Site Speed & Infrastructure – is your website quick and responsive? Optimized for mobile? Can your hosting provider handle big bandwidth spikes due to high amounts of traffic? Is everything up to par security wise? These are questions we deal with everyday and we can help you answer them.


Third Party Integrations & Payment Options – many websites use various third party modules and services to provide product lists and provide payments. Are they up to date? Are you offering as many forms of payment as possible? Are your shipping rates and your return policy clear and transparent? Do your customers have to log-in or register? Have you made that process as simple as possible? These are all areas we specialize in and can help you with.


Site Search Optimization – many ecommerce sites have a built in search function, and when you offer a wide array of products, customers will use this to find what they’re looking for. It’s important to configure your site search with helpful search suggestions and common misspellings to help show customers the products they’re looking for quickly – even if they happen to make a typo.

It’s important to make sure these steps have been taken well in advance of the busiest parts of the year, and we recommend freezing any kind of major updates or changes to your website in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Once you’re sure your website is ready for the increase in traffic, you can focus on preparing for the holidays in other ways.



It’s well documented that the holidays drive some of the biggest sales numbers for online stores. Online Black Friday shopping sales hit 7.4 billion dollars last year – an all-time high. People are ready to spend because they know that they have a great potential to save money, as average savings on Black Friday specials are around 37%. With this in mind, you know that competing during these sales means coming up with aggressive promotions and offers of your own, and doing so in a strategic way. We specialize in segmentation, tailoring messages, and finding out what works for what crowds. A few of the things you can do to help plan and promote your offers are:


Dig into last year’s data and find out how low you can go, while still pricing in a way that will make all your effort worthwhile. If you’re an online retailer you can find where your strongest traffic came from and look to boost those relationships this year. This can come in the form of blogs and buying guides, social posts, and paid advertising. These are all areas we specialize in at Root & Roam Integrated Marketing Agency.


If you have an email marketing list or an active following on social media (or both), it’s imperative that you plan and schedule content that will help inform and guide your customers into making holidays purchases. Let your customers know what to expect and what to plan for, even if it’s telling them to keep an eye on their inbox and your pages for the soon to arrive specials! Creating a sense of urgency and taking advantage of FOMO (fear of missing out) can help sell to people that may otherwise miss out. This way when you start to ask for sales, they’ll be more likely to already have that perfect gift in mind.


Showcase your deals and products. This may be viewed as a no brainer – but get your best deals in front of people in as many ways as possible, from your website’s home page to your marketing pushes through email and social media. Surround your products with memorable design, from the digital work you put into your marketing to the packaging that makes your unboxing experience. Give your customers good reasons to tell their friends about their experience!



We’ve already discussed having your website ready for increased traffic and a higher volume of customers – but what about the rest of your business? Shipping and fulfillment will also be under pressure with higher order volumes, and having a plan in place to handle that will help ensure your holiday sales go off without a hitch.


Anticipate volume and hire accordingly. If you handle shipping and fulfillment in-house, you’re likely aware of the necessity of seasonal workers to help accommodate increases in demand. Getting this support in place is imperative and the sooner you can get it in place the better.


Consider a third-party logistics(3PL) provider for shipping and fulfilment, or if you work with a wholesaler you may consider what setting up a dropshipping relationship would cost. It’s different for every business and it’s up to you whether or not it’s right for you and your business. At a certain point of growth it can often make sense to offload shipping and fulfillment to someone with the infrastructure and expertise to handle it most efficiently.


Remember returns. Holiday buying sees higher return rates than any other time in the year – around 12% of all sales according to the National Retail Federation. Customers appreciate painless returns, and providing an easy return process is a good way to bolster long term customer loyalty. Many businesses are including return labels and using resealable mailers for gift purchases, and a short note or print out on how to make a return or even better an exchange can make your recipients (and your) life that much easier.

The holiday season is something to prepare for on many fronts, and it’s no different for business owners. With a bit of planning it can be just as successful as a highly anticipated Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham. Before we know it, we’ll be stepping into a new year and it’ll be time to analyze and find out what has worked best for us and where we can improve. 

We hope that the points discussed in this post give you a clearer picture of how to ensure your businesses holiday season success, and you should know that Root & Roam Creative Studio is here to help you take your marketing and business growth to new levels. We have a diverse team of marketing professionals ready to tackle any area of analysis, content strategy, creation, and delivery. Happy Holidays!