Gamut. The bane of this digital designer’s existence.

Simply defined, gamut is a range of something. In the case of digital and print media it pertains to the entire range of colors that a monitor can display (RGB color) or a printer can print (CMYK color).

Without delving into too much detail, monitor gamut and print gamut aren’t always BFFs; there are many hues that your monitor can display but your printer will not print (at least not properly).

As you can tell, this is a potential issue for those digital designers who design in RGB, but create products which will potentially be printed in CMYK. Conundrum!

Though it may be tempting to throw caution to the wind and design in whatever 80s-esque florescent colors you desire, it is important for digital scrapbooking designers, as a measure of quality assurance, to stay within the CMYK range. As a customer, how would you feel if you poured your time, effort, and money into a project, only to find that the colors in your final product are drastically different than the ones you visualized on your computer screen? Not too happy, I suspect.

Perhaps as a digital scrapbooker you’ve never paid much mind to gamut, or maybe you have no idea what gamut is, which is fine and dandy if you don’t have any intention of printing your digital work. However, if you print your pages at home or are planning to send your latest digital scrapbook to a professional printer, gamut issues should, at the very least, be on your radar.

Today I want to share with you a Quick & Dirty tip to help you keep gamut in the forefront of your design process. Before I jump in, let’s start at square one by finding our gamut warning.

View -> Gamut Warning or Shift+Ctrl+Y will (shockingly!) turn on your Gamut Warning

Photoshop Gamut Warning

Turning on your Gamut Warning will allow you to see any potential problems with your current color scheme. Let’s take a look:

Gamut Problems

oops! See those gray areas?! It looks like I’ve chosen colors that are out of gamut. Better make some adjustments!

No More Gamut Problems

Cool beans! Now all of your colors are in gamut, but…

wouldn’t it be swell if you could AVOID choosing colors that are out of gamut altogether?!

Well lucky for you, there is a simple fix. No more guessing games about which hues in your color picker are off limits. Freedom from gamut woe lies ahead…

Step 1: Open your color picker

Open Color Picker

Step 2: Turn on your Gamut Warning (View -> Gamut Warning or Shift+Ctrl+Y)

Turn on Gamut Warning

3. Bask in knowledge that you will never choose a color that is out of gamut EVER AGAIN!

Gamut Warning in Color Picker

Quick note: The gamut warning will remain turned on until you turn it off again (View -> Gamut Warning or Shift+Ctrl+Y)

Ta-da! There you have it! A quick and dirty solution to a problem you probably didn’t even know you had! Haha. Thanks for popping in, hope this was helpful!

Have more burning Photoshop questions? Shoot me an email and I’ll see if I can throw together another Quick & Dirty Photoshop tip just for you!