What is LAB Color Space?

What is LAB Color Space?

Posted by

What is LAB Color Space?


LAB color space is the engine that powers color management

Video transcript:

The LAB color model is a three axis color system and LAB colors are absolute, meaning that the color is exact. It’s what’s known as device independent; meaning that the LAB color space is the only way to communicate different colors across different devices. An object’s color is measured in LAB color with a spectrophotometer.

00:23 It is a three axis system. The first axis, the L-channel or Lightness, goes up and down the 3D color model and it consists of white to black – and all of your gray colors will be exactly right down the center. All neutral colors will be relatively in the center of this axis.

00:43 The A axis, goes from cyan color across to magenta/red color. And the B axis goes from blue to yellow. So within this area we’re going to plot visual or reproducible colors based on the gamut or the profile of the device we have.

01:05 So we’re going to turn on the sRGB color profile. Most monitors will display in sRGB and sRGB is preferred for any type of internet or web application. We’ll get this thing spinning here and you can see the volume of the colors that you can reproduce from this additive color model. Obviously since dealing with projecting light, they’re very bright colors and they’re very saturated.

When to use LAB color space

– Matching paint colors to printed media

– Matching fabric colors in a catalog or website

– Communicating your favorite Pantone color to another media form

– LAB color space is the back-bone of all color management between devices in the color workflow


What questions do you have regarding LAB color mode? Please leave your comments below…

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (33 votes, average: 4.55 out of 5)




Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name


  1. A lot of participants will require unfastened like a free-regarding most ticket to play whatsoever they need, or
    continue to perform once they have nothing post-fail.

  2. A very useful video and great explanation, congrats Rick. Hey, I am doing a research and comparisson between l*c*h & l*a*b, do you have any info regarding this to understand it better and their diferences? or do you know where I can find good and serious info about this colour spaces? Hope you can help me. This lab explanation you gave is great. Thank you so much.

  3. Hi Rick,
    Where can I find the formula for averaging multiple L*a*b* values?

    Thank you

  4. Hello, your text is very useful. I have another question. I want to design poster which I plan to display on the website and also print it. Some print houses demand CMYK files and I plan to publish my design in sRGB profile on the Internet. I wonder what colour profile should I start with in Photoshop. Is it LAB or sRGB and then I should convert it to LAB then CMYK? Ill be grateful for reply 🙂

  5. hello,

    Thank you for this amazing videos.

    Can I use the LAB in RGB mode than change the mode to CMYK for ofsset printing purpose?

    Thank you

  6. does Lab color model full fill the semantic gap in image retrieval

  7. Hi Rick

    Thank you very much for a very informative article on LAB colour. I fortunately discovered LAB a week ago and I am very excited about it. Is LAB suitable for landscape photography? How many top landscapers use LAB? Where can I find more info about LAB?

    Thanks for yoyr time and attention.

  8. great video! I saw one slight error, though: at around 1:10, the LAB values for the blue pop up. It should say b: -66, not b: 66.

    • That’s hilarious Julius!

      You win a prize! Free business cards for you

  9. use of lab color space in image processing

    • Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However
      I am having troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot join it.
      Is there anyone else getting similar RSS issues?
      Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond?

      • I just don’t know what is happening with Google’s Feedburner and don’t trust it currently. Please use the email update Subscribe button to stay in touch.


Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *