Question: How does one select a color palette that is versatile enough to look good in color and be distinguishable in greyscale (or even B/W) print?
The answer to this question is subjective, but you can manage your instinct somewhat by following some simple rules:
- First, think in terms of Hue/Saturation/Value instead of RGB or CMYK.
- Value represents how much black is in the color, or how dark an image is. The lower the value, the darker the color. Value has by far the most effect on the appearance of a color in the B&W space, and you can generally assume that colors with widely different values will be very visually distinct.
- Hue is the least most important setting for black & white, and represents the color being used for the…color.
- Saturation is the second most important setting for black & white, and represents how much white is in the color. Generally it’s thought of as how much color is mixed into the image, with higher values appearing closer to “pure” colors. For B&W, generally the higher the saturation, the darker the B&W display.
- Keep in mind however, that often blue hues are printed darker at the same value/saturation than yellow hues. I generally use the rule that the higher the saturation, the higher the variance between blue/yellow:
This is all inkjet-specific; quality printing methods will have different results. Regardless, the above color lines above look like this when printed:
Originally posted to Stack Exchange