CMYK VS RGB: What Is Best for Printing?

Did you try to print something to discover that the product colors turned out different than in the design? If you want everything to go smoothly, you should choose the right color mixing mode. The available ones include CMYK and RGB, but what is better for color printing? You’ll learn the difference between RGB and CMYK, as well as how to pick the suitable mode for the desired printing process!

What Is the Difference Between RGB and CMYK?

Before deciding on CMYK or RGB for print, you should learn their major differences. The crucial distinction is that you use the RGB color mode for digital tasks. If you work on a design on a computer, it’s best to use RGB.

But if we are talking about printing projects, it’s better to go with CMYK. You should understand both color modes to optimize your design. Keep reading to learn more details about CMYK VS RGB printing!

What is RGB?

The abbreviation stands for “Red, Green, Blue”. It marks a color space used in the digital world. If your work is planned for displaying on a screen, you go with this option.

How does the RGB color space work? A PC monitor or another screen uses these three basic colors to produce any other tone. If the values of all three RGB options are “0,” you get the black color. As you brighten specific options, you can get lighter tones. Professionals call this the additive color process

Light transmission is in charge of how we perceive colors. It’s easy to adjust the shade by changing the RGB color value. Thanks to that, you can change shading, saturation, and vibrancy in seconds.

cmyk or rgb for print


When to Use RGB?

In the CMYK VS RGB battle, the latter takes the victory for all types of digital work. So, if you don’t plan to print the product physically, use these color spaces.

Here are some suggestions on what you can do with RGB:

  • Create photos to post on social media.
  • Design company logos to place on your website.
  • Make buttons, icons, and other graphics to use on the internet.
  • Design infographics, video, and digital content for the web.

JPG, GIF, PSD, and PNG include common file formats for RGB color mode.

What is CMYK?

CMYK is another version of color spaces available, but this one uses four default colors. Those are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key/Black. Now, printing devices use this color mode to deliver images. They mix different ink levels to come up with the final product. So, is CMYK for print tasks? The short answer is yes, and you should always go with this model.

The main difference in CMYK VS RGB comparison is that this approach starts with white color. Instead of using an additive mix, it utilizes a subtractive model. The printing device uses ink to decrease the brightness and reach the desired tone. If you need black, the machine will combine all four basic colors.

When to Use CMYK?

CMYK is your preferred printing color mode since it can replicate colors as accurately as possible. If you need business card design and printing, a professional service will use CMYK color mode. Catalogs, product packages, menus, and anything else you want to print will require using CMYK for best results.

This color model is used in printing marketing materials. From posters and storefront signs to custom T-shirt printing and other promotional merchandise items, choose CMYK. The file formats commonly used for this color mode include AI, PDF, and EPS.

You can convert RGB to CMYK for printing purposes. But you could see color shifts, and they could affect shade-sensitive projects. It’s best to contact us and leave the design and printing to professionals. It guarantees the results will meet and exceed your expectations!

difference between rgb and cmyk

Why RGB Must Be Converted for Printing

Let’s say you need some banner printing for your business. The process starts by preparing the design, and you do that on a computer. Monitors use the RGB color profile. Although you can use CMYK from the beginning, you’ll get better color reproduction on a screen with RGB.

But the problem is that digital printing using the RGB color model might not reproduce the shades accurately. Therefore, you must convert to CMYK before printing. That color gamut is sufficient to cover virtually all colors in the spectrum as close to the original as possible.

Why RGB Colors Can’t Always Be Reproduced in Print

The problem lies in monitor calibration. Your computer monitor might show a particular color differently from how you see it on a mobile device. For the same reason, even the best commercial printers might not be able to reproduce RGB colors as you expected.

Converting RGB to CMYK and preparing the desired product for printing can be a hassle. It could be better to leave everything to professional Las Vegas custom printing services. Don’t hesitate to get in touch and join our long list of clients happy with our work!


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