CMYK or RGB? The Facts You Need To Know

Do you know the difference between CMYK colours and RGB colours?

In this article we’ll explain the key differences between RGB and CMYK and why knowing the difference is so important. If you’re unfamiliar with CMYK and RGB or don’t understand why knowing about them is so important this article is for you!

What does CMYK stand for?

Cyan Magenta Yellow and Key.

What does the Key in CMYK stand for?

Key refers to the colour Black, it is known as Key because during printing the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are keyed or aligned in relation to it.

What does RGB stand for?

It stands for Red, Green & Blue.

What is the difference between CMYK and RGB?

CMYK Colours are created from combining some or all of the individual inks Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black either partially or fully usually on a white background. Think about how a painter combines paints to create new colours and that is the process behind CMYK.

RGB Colours are not created with ink but with light. Stare at your computer monitor closely and you will see it is made up of tiny lights each projecting either Red, Green or Blue light. A full or partial combination of these colours creates what you see on your monitor.

Why does it matter if I print my file in RGB or CMYK?

RGB offers a wider gamut of colours than can possibly be replicated using CMYK Printing. What you see on screen may not be what prints if you leave your artwork in RGB mode. Bright or neon type colours are especially hard, if not impossible, to replicate and may require specialist and costly printing processes to achieve. If you create your artwork in CMYK before sending it to us you are more likely to get the print result you are after.

At Discount Printing we check all files sent to us to ensure they are set up in CMYK Colour mode and will convert them out of RGB if required. We always notify customers if we have any concerns with their files.

Questions about CMYK or RGB? Ask us today on Twitter or Facebook! Or Call us on 1300 663 120.