If you’ve even spent a minute living or working with someone who’s in the print industry, you’ve probably been astounded and confused by the amount of industry jargon you’ve heard. It can be near-incomprehensible at times, and that’s even if the time is taken to explain things to you! One of the biggest print industry terms that get thrown around is CMYK printing.
If you’ve heard the phrase without knowing what in the world it means, don’t worry — you’re not alone. Not only that, but we have a perfect guide for describing what CMYK printing is, what it does, and how it relates to your company’s printing needs!
Let’s Get Started: Defining CMYK Printing
So just what in the world is CMYK printing? It’s not nearly as esoteric as you might think. In fact, it’s simply an abbreviation for the style of printing used as standard today. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and black, the four colors that, if you know the right combination, can make every other print color out there. Yes, in this instance the K stands for black. Why? Nobody knows. It’s just one of those weird little quirks.
The CMYK printing standard is used because when it comes to applying ink to paper or whatever other kinds of substrate used to produce printed images, all you need to do is to reduce the amount of color in different percentages in order to reproduce the color you want on the page. It’s called a subtractive process, and it’s capable of producing vibrant and striking colors.
Why Use CMYK Printing?
Using CMYK for printing doesn’t seem to make much sense at first, does it? We’ve all learned from a young age that there are three primary colors — red, green, and blue — and by mixing these colors in different combinations you can reproduce any color of the rainbow. Television screens and computer monitors even use tiny red, green, and blue pixels to reproduce the images and videos we see every day. So why in the world would printers not use the same RGB system that everything else does?
There’s one very good reason: color reproduction from a computer screen is different than in print. RGB-mixed colors tend to be lighter, which is ideal for projection on a dark screen, but in print, RGB-derived colors show up much differently. RGB is an additive process, and layering inks to a piece of paper in order to reproduce a color means that producing lighter colors is all but impossible.
The more ink you add, no matter how “light” that ink might appear, the darker and heavier the resultant color. But the subtractive nature of CMYK means that color reproduction is a result of using less ink, not more. This makes CMYK the best way to reproduce colors accurately each and every time.
How CMYK Color Design Can Help Your Business
Whether you’re printing business cards, brochures, marketing flyers, or corporate materials like quarterly earnings reports, being sure that you have accurate color representation is important. Designs, graphics, and logos that were originally put together on an RGB computer monitor will not look how you expect unless these images are first converted to CMYK before being printed, and if you have mismatching promotional materials you’re sending the wrong message to prospective customers, business partners, or anyone else for that matter.
A good print house knows this. It’s their business to provide you exactly what you want, and they know color theory inside and out, especially when it comes to how CMYK-printed projects look if they’ve been designed in RGB. A good print house will convert your RGB-created images into CMYK before printing so that you’ll get exactly what you want without any nasty surprises. You can look forward to a well-matched, color-accurate, and professional-looking print run every time!
Las Vegas Color Graphics Knows CMYK Printing Inside and Out
CMYK has been the industry standard in the printing industry for a very long time, and as Las Vegas’ premier community print provider for more than 40 years, Las Vegas Color Graphics knows CMYK inside and out. We have the most experienced graphic design staff and the specialized equipment needed to convert your RGB images into CMYK before printing, ensuring that your print jobs emerge looking exactly as you envisioned them. Not only that, but our 24-hour-a-day printing cycle means you’ll have your materials back and ready for distribution in no time. We even handle fulfillment if you’re mailing out postcards or other direct mail.
If you’re looking for the most color-accurate and high-quality printing around, turn to Las Vegas Color Graphics. Contact us today and we’ll show you just how good CMYK printing can make your printed materials look!