RGB Versus CMYK

We’ve printed thousands of projects for hundreds of clients during our time in the printing industry and one of the most common mistakes we see is the lack of differentiation between RGB and CMYK.

Many clients will create their designs (intended for print) in an application such as Photoshop which by default, uses the RGB colour mode. This is because Photoshop is mainly used for website design, image editing and various other forms of media that usually end up on a computer screen. Therefore, CMYK isn’t used.

The problem here is that when an RGB design is printed using a CMYK printing process such as digital printing, the colours appear differently. This means that although a design might look absolutely perfect when the client views it on their screen. When it’s printed, certain colours will come out not as intended.

CMYK isn’t used too often these days as many home printers are actually able to print using the full RGB spectrum. However, CMYK is still used by most professional printing companies; So if you’re looking to get something printed professionally, you need to be aware of this when designing your own artwork.

For instance, when creating artwork in Photoshop. Open a new artboard and select the following…

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Then just before you start designing your artwork select the following.

 

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Last but not least. When saving/exporting your design to a print ready PDF. Please make sure you have the following colour profile settings enabled. Failing to have the correct colour profiles selected when saving/exporting will result in a colour profile miss match and colours will convert to the default RGB profile.

 

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After you have done all of  the following. You will be designing and saving your artwork with the correct colour profile and will get the best possible colour match when printing your artwork.