CMYK – so, what is it?
It is possible to write a lengthy essay on colour. I won’t. This will be a VERY short post, telling you just enough to make sense of it all. I hope!
1. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and black. Also referred to as ‘4 colour process’ and ‘full colour’ print.
2. It is the cheapest type of print these days for most print jobs for small to medium businesses. This is because print presses are permanently setup with these four colours. No costly custom setup required.
3. Tens of thousands of colours are possible through various combinations. If you can’t find the shade you are after, then we need to talk….!
4. Computer monitors, and files that are intended for viewing on computer monitors (eg, logos on websites) are set up in RBG (Red, Green, Blue). RGB and CMYK colours are not always compatible. If you send an RGB file to print, the results are unpredictable.
CMYK in print
1. Only ever send CMYK files to a printer. If you cannot do this yourself, someone else will need to, and they may or may not charge you to do this.
2. If you send any other colour format to print, the printer may do an automatic colour conversion before going to print, and you may not be happy with the result.
3. Another colour system is spot (Pantone, PMS) colour. You can get spot colours which aren’t available in CMYK. They are generally (but not always) expensive because a print press needs to be set up especially with this colour.
Further reading on colour
If you feel the need to know more: