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).

Will the colour of my reprint match my previous Handy Labels order?

We calibrate our printing machines on a daily basis for colour accuracy to European standards, so your reprint should look the same as before. If you choose the 'reprint my previous order' service in your account, we will retrieve our master copy of your previous order to double check colour accuracy.

Should the PDF on my screen look the same as the printed product?

It should look close but not exact. All monitors are displayed in RGB and our printing process is CMYK, so some variation will naturally appear. We calibrate our monitors and printers to a 'Coated FOGRA 39’ profile this enables us to achieve a close match to our ripped print-ready PDF proof.

Please be aware, PDF proof colours can vary significantly if being viewed on a smart phone.

Can you print a dense black?

Yes, we can achieve a dense black if required. Please set your CMYK values to the following C: 30% M: 30% Y: 30% and K: 100%.

Can you match to a Pantone colour?

If colour is critical to your design then we always recommend you using Pantone colours within your design. Pantone is a universal colour guide that all commercial printers use to match colours as accurately as possible from screen to paper. Not all Pantone colours can be matched in a CMYK process but we will get as close as possible and advise you accordingly.

Can you match a pre-printed sample from another printer?

We would require a hard copy sample to be posted to us before you place your order to check whether it’s possible using our CMYK printing process. We use a FOGRA39 printing ISO standard for all of our machines for colour accuracy and repeatability.

Can you print my artwork in Metallic ink?

Unfortunately we don’t offer printing in metallic inks but we can print your design on either a metallic gold or metallic silver vinyl, which can achieve an excellent effect with the right design.

Can you print my artwork in white ink?

Yes, we can print in white ink on any of our vinyl label range. Your artwork will need to be supplied in a vector PDF or EPS to enable us to change your artwork to our white swatch colour. White ink printing looks great on our clear gloss vinyl and clear matt vinyl.