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What is the difference between RGB and CMYK?

RGB stands for ‘Red, Green, and Blue’ and are dots of light that your computer monitor and TV screen display. The primary colours are mixed together in the form of light to produce any colour you need but since it uses light rather than ink the image doesn’t always transfer from screen to paper. In summary, RGB has a very wide range of colours but is not printer-friendly.

All of our printers use a 4-colour ink/toner process CMYK - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K). This is the industry standard for representing ink on paper and what we use to transform your digital files into printed media.

To tell the difference between RGB and CMYK, take a look at the example below of an RGB colour wheel converted to CMYK. The vivid colours appear true on the RGB wheel but are impossible to replicate in CMYK.

the difference between rgb and cmyk

If you use RGB colours or images within your design we will need to convert them to CMYK, which could possibly make the design appear washed-out when printed.

You can clearly see the RGB colour mode achieves more vibrant, vivid colours compared to CMYK, this is due to its greater colour gamut (full range).