What Is the difference between CMYK and RGB?

CMYK and RGB are the color models that are often used in printing and design. Here are some of the differences that the two have and how you can choose between the two when creating a design.

RGB and CMYK Color Models

RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue, the primary colors of this model. This model is additive, meaning the right combination of these primary colors are added to produce a broad array of other colors. RGB is used to display images on computers, televisions, and other digital electronics. It is also the standard model for web design.

CMYK on the other hand, is a subtractive color model, which subtracts wavelengths of light to produce color. It stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key, the latter referring to the black plate used in printing. CMYK is the color mode of choice for offset printing, which uses four cylinders of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black to produce full color images.

An image that is rendered using RGB will look different compared to an image rendered with CMYK. If you submit a file that is made in RGB color mode, the printed output will look different than the one you see on your monitor. This is why we recommend setting up your file in CMYK mode before submitting it to us for printing.