Within the programs of the departments providing design education, students mostly carry out computer assisted/computer-based studies, and computer-based devices are used during this process. There are differences between colour models and practices of computer-assisted/based devices and the colour theories and practices that students have tried and learned themselves in Basic Design, which is one of the introductory courses.
Such colours as red, green or blue are just terms; however, they do not define spectral components of reflecting light of an object. The eyes and mind perceive the spectral information, which is the basis of colour perception. In publishing systems, there is no device that is capable of producing all colours that human eye can see. Every device operates in a certain colour range or certain colour universe that can be produced. Each sector having something to do with colours and using colours as a part of their business utilize colour models that suit them best.
In this context, what does colour model mean? What is the purpose of a colour model? What is it used for? What are the types of colour models? What are their analogous and different sides? Why are there so many colour models that make colour reversal possible? What are the reasons for colours' not matching up with each other in design devices and what colour models do these devices use? Do colour models depend on devices or is there a colour model that does not depend on them?
In this study, literature review method was used. The study is limited to the basic devices used in graphics design process and the software used with these devices.
As a result of the study, it is understood that the purpose of a colour model is to facilitate colour specification through certain standards in a commonly acceptable way. It is seen that the colour model specifies the relationship between values and the colour universe defines the absolute meaning of these values as a colour. It is also found that some colour models (such as CIELAB) have a fixed colour universe since they are directly related with humans' perception of colours and these models are defined independently of the device. It is seen that other colour models (RGB, CMYK, HSL, HSB, etc.) might have rather different colour universes, and they are defined based on the device since they change based on the colour space or device that they are related with.
Keywords: Colour models, CIELAB, RGB, CMYK, HSL, HSB