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RGB v CMYK
21 February 2017      Posted by Print Me It

RGB v/s CMYK – The Line Of Difference

RGB is Red, Green and Blue whereas CMYK is Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black!

A designer must know the basic line of difference between the two colour modes i.e. RGB and CMYK. Both of these are quite perplexing when you go to look at the same image, one with RGB mode and other with CMYK. If you are starting as a designer, this article will come out to be a helpful piece of content that will give you a total grasp of both the modes.

The Basic Difference

For day-to-day designing purposes, digital communications, television intents, RGB mode is the best whereas for printing purposes, CMYK is a good-to-go mode. Anything that needs to be printed like brochures, magazines, posters or letterheads, CMYK is used.

General Mistake

It is important, when designing for print that you choose CMYK. Making the wrong decision could cost you, as the last thing you want is to reprint the document. Designers usually create the designs in software such as Adobe Photoshop where the default working mode is RGB. If you don’t switch to CMYK as the project is for printing, the resultant colours will appear differently.

Because the image editing is done in Photoshop which looks fine on screen, it will look different when you come to print out the document.

When to Use RGB mode?

Being a designer, complete control over the project is there whatever you are working on. So manually adjusting the mode to get the right type of colour is in your hands. The very basic mantra to achieve the right colour is – the higher the value of RGB intensity, the brighter the colours. Also, if your project is going to be displayed on the digital screen or computer monitor, RGB mode is just the right thing. It can be used in:

  • Website designing
  • Icon designing
  • Web banners
  • Any design meant for electronic use

When to Use CMYK mode?

RGB works perfect for the digital or electronic use but when the design needs to be printed, CMYK is the right pick. Brochures, magazines or posters look best with CMYK mode because the printer doesn’t have the option to paint the picture with light as it uses toner or ink. To create a mix of different shades and hues, the printers use Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ink colours. It can be used in:

  • Brochure designing
  • Magazine printing
  • Poster printing

NOTE: RGB gives brighter colours if more light is added whereas CMYK gives darker colours if more ink is added.

The Last Word

We hope this article proves helpful for the all the beginner designers who are unaware of the basic difference of RGB and CMYK modes. To crown it all, RGB uses lights to create a mix of colours but CMYK uses ink.

Play around with both these modes for a better understanding!

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