CYMK or RGB for print?

CYMK or RGB for print?
CYMK Or RGB For Print

Colour modes are a crucial facet of digital printing. They can be the making or breaking of printed items as, if the incorrect format is used, the end product may turn out to be completely different than first imagined. The two main colour formats are CYMK and RGB. But what do they mean? And which one do you need? In this post, highlights whether you need CYMK or RGB for print.

What is RGB?

RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. By adding these primary colours together, the RGB colour mode is able to create a multitude of colours for the likes of computer monitors, LCD TVs, cameras and photo editing programs. The reason that these products utilise the RGB colour mode is simple: by mixing the primary colours of red, green and blue, you’re able to create the widest spectrum of colours – a necessary requirement for visual-focused devices.

What is CYMK?

CYMK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key. It works in a different way than the RGB colour mode, utilising subtractive colours rather than additive colours. Instead of adding colours together like in RGB, CYMK colours are subtracted from one another to form a different (and lighter) shade. For example, when yellow is subtracted from key (or black), you will achieve the colour green.

CYMK or RGB for print

Most dedicated digital printing companies favour the CYMK colour mode for print in order to achieve the greatest colour accuracy possible. Issues can arise when designs are submitted for printing after having been created on the likes of Photoshop which utilise the RGB colour format. Although business cards, booklets and flyers may look perfect on the computer monitor, in fact, when they are printed, it can be a completely different story. RGB designs printed in the CYMK colour mode will typically look darker than originally intended, so it’s recommended that you educate yourself in converting RGB to CYMK before the printing process begins.

Top tips for colour printing

  • Ensure RGB images and colours are converted to CYMK before printing
  • Ensure that text is 100% black to avoid registration problems
  • Use these values for rich black solid: 30% Cyan, 30% Magenta, 30% Yellow, 100% Key
  • White in CMYK terms is 0%, so don’t set it to overprint on top of another colour or it will disappear

CYMK printing at

Digital Printing Ireland specialises in high-quality, CYMK colour printing for business cards, booklets, leaflets, flyers and more. For more information on colour printing, visit our Support page where we provide helpful tips and tricks to ensure your digital print products turn out exactly how you imagined. When you order at today, you can get superfast delivery to any location within Ireland, including Dublin and beyond.

Published by DigitalPrinting

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