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CMYK Colour Mode

Importance of CMYK Colour Mode

CMYK or process colour is the colour mode used by commercial printing equipment to create full colour graphics and images. The process involves combining varying amounts of cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y), and Black (K-for "key") ink to produce the full spectrum of colour. The other common colour mode RGB colour this uses three colours Red (R), Green (G), and Blue (B) to create a full colour effect.

Colour Modes Info

When designing your artwork for print, we recommend starting with CMYK color mode. This will help ensure your images and background colors look good from the start. Of course, you can create your artwork in RGB and then either convert it yourself or have us convert it to CMYK for you after the fact. However, because the two color modes are so different, such conversions are never just a simple flip of the switch.

While most colors translate pretty well from one color mode to the other, subtle color shifting is common when converting from RGB to CMYK (and vice versa), requiring some manual adjustments to get things just right. For example, many software programs will translate a 100% blue RGB value into a CMYK color that looks more purple than blue. Such changes will need to be accounted for if you start with an RGB color mode and then convert to CMYK later on.

If you send us files that use RGB color, we will convert your files to CMYK before printing them. In such cases, we recommend you view a printed proof before we complete your order, so you can see how the converted colors will appear in print.


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