Full Color Printing – Explaining CMYK VS RGB

You are looking for the right printing company to render full   color  printing service for your ad  materials . As you browse through your options, you are being bombarded with letters that you cannot comprehend – CMYK and RGB.

Are you lost with such acronyms? First, you must understand that color is an important element in printing as well as in the design process. You must have the eye to spot what will match and what will look good together to be able to provide the right  material .

 Color  can affect the whole appeal of your  material . It will evoke people’s emotions. It will create the impact.


The colors as you see them on your computer monitors are in RGB mode. It will not look the same way once printed though. That is why most printing companies ask you to convert your files to CMYK before sending them over.

What is RGB? This is a color model that is composed of red, green and blue. This is most useful for website design and presentations done on screen because the project will be viewed through a computer monitor.

There are various color spaces in the RGB model. These are the two that are commonly used.

o RGB. This is what most of the monitors of your PCs use. This is also advisable to be used if you are into web design.

o Adobe RGB. This has a larger selection of colors than the sRGB. This is more appropriate to be used if you are designing for print and with pictures that were taken using professional digital cameras.


The CMYK model is produced when two RGB colors are mixed evenly.

o C or cyan is produced when green and blue are combined.

o M or magenta is produced when red and blue are combined.

o Y or yellow is produced when red and green are combined.

o K which means the key color or black is added to the model because when all the three colors of RGB are combined, they can only produce a dark brown.

If you want to avail of the full color printing process for your advertisements and other needs, you have to know that such method uses the CMYK model. Each color is placed on a printing plate. So there are four printing plates that are being utilized in the manner of printing.

The colors are then printed on the paper stock as small dots. But humans would only be able to see the final image.

You have to be really careful with colors especially when you are applying it to your professional arena.  Colors  will have a high impact on the design of your  material , whether you are using the print medium or you are designing for web pages.

It is advisable to match the colors according to you target market. They are the ones who are going to appreciate the final product. So it will be safer to think about them from the start. And the next time you are going to avail full color printing services, you will no longer feel lost with what the acronyms RGB and CMYK stand for.