How much do you know about colors and color conversion?
If you’re a designer, you probably deal with color conversion daily. Though many would believe this to be tedious, color conversion helps you adjust your graphic and web designs according to your needs.
Since you need to worry about the user experience, you must combine colors wisely to ensure they work well together across different platforms and formats. More importantly, the proper use of color can enhance your design and ensure you convey the same message across all available communication channels, platforms, websites, etc.
With that in mind, let’s discuss the importance of colors in the design to help you understand the HEX and CMYK color models and give you the best tools for transforming HEX into CMYK effortlessly.
In this article
The Importance of Colors in Design
Color is one of the most powerful and effective tools in a designer’s toolkit. It helps modern artists set the brand voice, impact the brand image, attract the target audience, influence their decision-making, and enhance usability. However, choosing the right color combination requires skill, practice, time, and knowledge.
There are three color groups to pay attention to:
- Primary – red, yellow, and blue;
- Secondary – green, purple, and orange (contains combinations of primary colors);
- Tertiary – red-violent, yellow-orange, red-orange, etc. (contains combinations of primary and secondary colors).
Everything in design and visual arts revolves around these color groups. The trick to getting the best color combinations is understanding what colors go well together. According to color theory, you should base your color-combining efforts on accomplishing color harmony by finding colors that blend in seamlessly.
You have five main color harmonies to tap into:
- Monochromatic – tones and shades of a single-color model
- Triadic – three colors at equal distances on the color wheel (120 degrees apart)
- Analogous – colors that are close (next) to each other on the color wheel (ideal for achieving low color contrast in design);
- Complementary – perfect for creating high color contrast, these are colors that are opposite on the color wheel;
- Split-complementary – softer than basic complementary colors, these color combinations include colors from either side of their complementary counterparts.
Though many color harmony types rely on the four basic colors, the more colors you introduce to your works, the more challenging it gets to accomplish visual hierarchy and balance.
Now that you have some basic knowledge of how colors complement your design efforts, let’s delve deeper into the HEX and CMYK color models.
Understanding the HEX and CMYK Color Models
Understanding color models like HEX, RGB, and CMYK is essential for color management and digital design. HEX is a color system used in web design, while CMYK is used in color printing. HEX uses six hexadecimal digits to specify colors based on RGB, while CMYK uses Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key/Black. CMYK is important for full-color printing processes, and HEX to CMYK converters are used to prepare digital materials for printing.
How We Evaluated the Best HEX to CMYK Converters
HEX to CMYK converters use mathematical formulas to convert colors between different formats, such as CMYK, HSL, RGB, and HEX. Online converters provide an easy and efficient method for this conversion.
We considered the following criteria to evaluate the best HEX to CMYK converters:
- Ease of use;
- Learning curve.
Below is our comprehensive list of free and premium color converter tools you can use to conduct a HEX to CMYK color conversion.
Top Online HEX to CMYK Converters
Here’s our comprehensive selection of free HEX to CMYK online converters.
ColorBook is a free online HEX to CMYK converter and a HEX color information source you can tap into to get more insights into HEX color models. ColorBook is an ideal freemium solution for color scheme management, converting HEX values to CMYK codes, generating versatile color schemes, and more.
In addition, ColorBook enables you to create and manage various color pallets. You can use ColorBook to streamline color conversion and quickly transform a HEX color into HSL, RGB, or CMYK in a few simple steps.
If you don’t have the exact HEX color you want to convert to CMYK, ColorBook provides a color picker tool to help you select the desired HEX color. Simply visit the website, pick a HEX color for conversion, type in the corresponding HEX value, click the Switch color button, and get the CMYK value from the conversion table.
- HEX value input;
- Color picker;
- CMYK output;
- Color preview;
- Color conversion table;
- CMYK, HSL, RGB, HEX converter;
- Image generator;
- ColorBook usage tips.
Pros and Cons
ColorDesigner is a free website for converting HEX to CMYK online. Aside from being an always accessible online color converter, the ColorDesigner website is also a reliable source of high-end color system conversion tools and a user-friendly color palette generator.
Using ColorDesigner for color conversion is as simple as it gets. Visit the website, select the HEX value for conversion, receive the corresponding CMYK value, convert HEX to CMYK, and load the color preview.
- Convert HEX to CMYK (RGB, HSL, HSV);
- Palette generator;
- Color gradient generator;
- Color mixer;
- Color checker;
- Image generator;
- Color harmonies;
- Image color picker.
Pros and Cons
CMYK Tool is an excellent online color converter and a CMYK color knowledge depository for printing professionals and web designers. The website provides a hand-picked selection of online CMYK tools, including the HEX to CMYK color converter.
Based on an interactive web application, CMYK Tool helps 3D artists, designers, printers, and everyone else manage popular color models and systems on mobile and desktop browsers without any download, installation, or registration required.
- Color converter (HEX, CMYK, RGB, RAL, LAB, NCS, HSL, etc.);
- Convert images (CMYK, RGB, Grayscale);
- Pantone (CMYK to Pantone);
- Color guide;
- Color picker;
- CMYK test print.
Pros and Cons
Best Graphic Design Tools for Converting HEX to CMYK
Professional graphic design tools are premium software services for designers of all knowledge and experience levels. Aside from being top-grade graphic design solutions, these tools are also perfect color converters that can easily and quickly match your HEX to CMYK conversion needs.
Here are the top three graphic design tools you can use for HEX to CMYK conversion.
Adobe Photoshop is a suite of image editing tools for users of all backgrounds. Aside from image editing, Photoshop also provides a range of color converter options, including HEX to CMYK and vice versa.
Photoshop’s user-friendly interface and intuitive interface empowers you to create an image in one color mode and swiftly convert it to any desired color system to prepare your works for specific print jobs. Photoshop offers a limited free trial, after which pricing starts at $22.99 per month.
- Color conversion;
- Object removal;
- Sky replacement;
- Generative AI;
- Prompts for design ideation and generation;
- Image editing.
Pros and Cons
Affinity Designer is a top-class premium graphic design software loaded with excellent timesaving, graphic design, and color management features (including color converter). Most users compare Affinity Designer’s efficiency and functionality to Adobe Illustrator.
Though Designer only offers a 30-day free trial, you can rely on it to test most of its features on a budget, including the HEX to CMYK converter. More importantly, Affinity Designer seamlessly transits between different color models without sacrificing color harmony, quality, or functionality.
A designer can either work with the new color profile you assign or convert each color from the given color model to the new one. Pricing plans for Affinity Designers start at $98.99 for individual licenses.
- Color management;
- Curves and shapes;
- Color models;
- Color selector;
- Gradient editing;
- Color transparency;
- Vector/pixel painting;
- Color chords;
- Color spaces;
- Color sampler.
Pros and Cons
Adobe Illustrator makes HEX to CMYK conversion a walk in the park. It allows you to conduct color conversion by following a few simple steps. In addition to color conversion, Illustrator is a premium industry-standard tool for professionally designed icons, infographics, illustrated artwork, and logos.
The most recent addition of the AI-powered Generative Recolor feature empowers Illustrator users to tap into AI technologies and text unlimited color themes, palettes, and advanced color management options. Pricing plans start at $22.99 per month.
- Color mode selection (convert to CMYK);
- Image trace;
- Vector generator;
- Illustration designer;
- Shape builder;
- Curve creator;
- Artwork export;
- PDF hyperImage name retention.
Pros and Cons
Bonus Coloring Tools
In addition to free and premium color converter solutions, here are a few more coloring tools to keep on your radar. These tools help you streamline your color experimentation efforts by streamlining the process of selecting and using different color models.
Wondershare Repairit Online Photo Colorizer
Repairit Online Photo Colorizer is a free AI-powered photo enhancing tool you can use to create diverse coloring results, colorize black-and-white photos, customize color results, repair photo scratches, remove photo blurs, and more.
- AI photo enhancement
- Data security
- Supported formats
- Upload image (free version limited to three photos and 5 MB photo size)
- Desktop version;
- Download enhanced photo;
- Colorize black and white photos;
- Customize coloring outcomes;
- Blur/scratch removal.
Wondershare Reparit Online Photo Colorizer alternatives:
- Color Hexa – an ideal tool for web designers that allows you to quickly check and compare colors, get color information, and receive color management suggestions to find the best color combination for the web.
- Color Hunter – a tool that informs you of the colors present in the uploaded image and creates a comprehensive color palette for the uploaded material.
- ColorZilla – a Firefox/Chrome browser extension that works as a color picker, helping you streamline copy/pasting precise colors from your computer screen into your designs.
- Spy Color – a free color tool for converting color models such as RGB, CMYK, HEX, etc. The tool interprets color information and provides variations in color schemes such as analogous, complementary, monochromatic, triadic, and clash colors.
You may want to use both free online converters and premium tools for HEX to CMYK conversion when preparing your visuals for color printing. Though all digital displays use HEX color models, CMYK is the industry standard for printing.
Hence, you should convert HEX to CMYK when you want to transform your digital artwork, web, and graphic design into printing materials. This list gives you the best free and premium color converters for converting HEX to CMYK without sacrificing quality and functionality.