Food for Thought - RGB to CMYK

Graphics Designing softwares give us the choice to work either in RGB or CMYK. These are called "color spaces". Scanners and digital cameras create images using combinations of just three colors: Red, Green and Blue (called "RGB"). These are the primary colors of light, which computers use to display images on your screen.

Printing presses print full color pictures using a different set of colors, the primary colors of pigment: Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black (called "CMYK"). This is "4-color process" or "full-color" printing that comprises the majority of magazines and marketing materials you see every day. Your RGB file must be translated to CMYK in order to print it on a printing press. 

Exmaple of how various RGB colors convert to CMYK:

rgb cmyk
RGB COlor model RGB color Model converted to CMYK


It is important to do - RGB-to-CMYK Conversion of Your Images

You will have more control over the appearance of your printed piece if you convert all of the images from RGB to CMYK before sending them to us. When we receive RGB images, we do a standard-value conversion to CMYK, which may not be perfectly to your liking. We want you to be happy, so please, take the time to prepare your file properly. We cannot be responsible for sub-par results if you furnish your images in RGB. Even though monitors always use RGB to display colors, the colors you see on your monitor will more closely match the final printed piece if you are viewing them in the CMYK color space. 

Adobe Photoshop

If the file already exists select the following menu options: Image > Mode > CMYK When starting a new file select CMYK for the mode before clicking OK.

Adobe InDesign

Use the following menu options: Window > Swatches and Window > Color. Double click color in Swatches Change color mode to CMYK and color type to Process. Any colors created in the document that are not in the Swatches palette, need to be changed to the CMYK color space. Select each object you want to convert and make sure the Color palette reflects the CMYK percentages. Click top right arrow in the palette to change to CMYK if necessary.

Adobe Illustrator

Use the following menu options. For an existing file select Edit > Select All and then Filter > Colors > Convert to CMYK. For a new file, select File > New and select CMYK color for the Color Mode.

Quark Xpress

Use the following menu options: Edit > Edit Colors > Show Colors in Use > Highlight Color and click Edit. Change model to CMYK and deselect Spot color.

Food for Thought (Seeds to enrich your roots):