Questions about CMYK; short for cyan, magenta, yellow and key(black). It's the colour process and model used for colour visualisation in colour printing. Ask anything relevant to graphic design about the CMYK colour model.

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42
votes
8answers
22k views

What kind of black should I use when designing for CMYK print?

my question is what kind of black should I use when printing. At the moment I use this black (split into CMYK) : C:0% M:0% Y:0% K:100% It looks fine in InDesign or Illustrator but if I save a PDF ...
30
votes
9answers
12k views

What is the difference between CMYK and RGB? Are there other color spaces I should know?

I'm a photographer, who dabbles in graphic design from time to time as well. What are the differences between the various color spaces?
17
votes
4answers
6k views

What's the difference between CMYK Black and RGB Black

I know this sounds a stupid question, black is black right? Wrong: It's black right? so why are the CMYK Values so far away from black?
16
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I make screenshots look good when printed in CMYK?

When printing screenshots alongside black text, black areas of the screenshot look a washed out "muddy dark grey" and "washed out". What causes this and can I improve the black color area?
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it possible to use a fully open source workflow for print design?

Is it possible to use only open-source tools in order to produce professional level artwork? Has anyone actually done it? If not, where are the current gaps? Assume I'm producing a small multi-page ...
15
votes
8answers
4k views

RGB and CMYK: Why both?

Any of you who have at least little experience with graphic design software, photography or professional printing, must have -almost undoubtedly- have gone through this: 'the struggle' of RGB and CMYK ...
12
votes
3answers
13k views

What CMYK values should I use for rich black, and how should I handle tints/shades?

I'm working on a full color piece in Illustrator which has a few large black and grey areas. I'd like the black to be a rich black. I was thinking c30 m30 y30 k100. What is the best ways to match my ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

What's the point of converting RGB images to CMYK TIF/TIFF before placing them in InDesign?

Currently we receive CMYK TIF/TIFF images of photographs from our design agency (who get them from the photographer). Our in-house designers then place them in InDesign for posters and magazines, or ...
9
votes
5answers
7k views

What is 5-colour printing?

When my print rep talks about five-colour printing, what does he mean? I know you have cyan, magenta, yellow and black - but what's the fifth?
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is HSB really?

Can any of my graphics designer friends explain HSB to me? I know it's hue/saturation/brightness and I know what those three do (for the most part)... I understand the algorithm of creating colors ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

If I make a design in RGB mode and then change it to CMYK how will it look when it's printed?

I'm making a business card in Photoshop and it needs to be in CMYK mode. Now, I'm using a logo on it that I previously made for the client in RGB mode and when I put it into the CMYK mode business ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there anything that can read, import or convert CMYK SVG?

Short question: I have SVG files with CMYK colours, specified as according to the SVG specs. I want to get this into a design program - any design program - to finalise the design and prepare it to ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

how to keep printed documents accurate color reproduction

Is there a way to widen the gamut of a cmyk print so that the darks stay dark and the lights stay light? I suspect it has something to do with color space being exported, but I don't know how to ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

spot color print - how to indicate white

I prefer to work with the web, so it's been forever since I've worked with a printer. Just received this message back regarding a doc utilizing white ink. How can I accomplish this in Adobe ...
7
votes
1answer
583 views

if you accidently make a document in working CMYK how can you change it to RGB?

if you accidently make a document in proof setup 'working CMYK' is there any easy way to convert the document to RGB without the colours getting washed out?
6
votes
3answers
30k views

Can you convert a neon RGB color to CMYK for printing?

I have a logo that was done with RGB colors, now I have to work with this logo to do something for printing purpuses, the problem is that in the RGB version of the logo I have a shade of green I ...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

How to prepare a design for CMYK printing?

This was asked in another thread. When I searched to see if this question has been asked before it was not. Per Meta we are encouraged to create threads that show quality solutions or to future ...
6
votes
4answers
480 views

When should I use rich black?

What kind of black should I use when designing for print ? explains what rich black is, but when should it be used? If it gives a "blacker black", why not use it for all black elements in a CMYK job ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

CMYK to PANTONE differences between Illustrator and Photoshop

I'm trying to find a way to match CMYK color to the closest PANTONE solid color. In Illustrator I use the "Recolor Artwork" dialog, in Photoshop the color dialog. But, if I convert (C=0, M=100, Y=100, ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

How does a monitor display the CMYK color? Is it actually showing the true CMYK color?

Just few moments ago I asked a question regarding RGB to CMYK conversion. say, RGB (86,92,214) the color in my image. Then monitor uses same values for displaying (lightning LEDs, LCDs or CRTs). ...
5
votes
3answers
88 views

Is it normal to send a CMYK file without an embedded color profile?

I've been sent a number of CMYK tiff images for some custom processing in Photoshop. These are expensively-shot images (Hasselblad digital body, full studio setup, already processed in Photoshop CC) ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

CMYK JPEGs extracted from PDF appear inverted

I am having to deal with CMYK JPEGs extracted from a PDF source. The PDFs were created with Photoshop. The problem is that Photoshop stores JPEG CMYK data in PDF/EPS using "normal" values, whereas in ...
4
votes
10answers
1k views

How can I find out what RGB colors a website uses?

I want to learn the CMYK/RGB or any other details of a colour on a website. Say the side/background of this very website. I want to recreate that colour. Can anyone help me? Or is there any specific ...
4
votes
3answers
450 views

Simplest set of inks that could print the RGB gamut?

Artist Tauba Auberbach produced this recently: It's called RGB Colourspace Atlas, and is a physical, printed book of what it implies is the whole RGB colour space. Is there an existing ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

Is there a freely available CMYK color chart that I can print on press and work with?

After reading the answers to my previous questions, How does a monitor display the CMYK color? Is it actually showing the true CMYK color? I'm very much convinced that I need to profile my monitor if ...
4
votes
6answers
5k views

Good and Cheap alternatives to Photoshop for CMYK

I have been using GIMP for many years and do not want to go through the expense and learning curve issues of Creative Suite/Photoshop but occasionally I may need a CMYK file. Other than the ...
4
votes
2answers
782 views

Colouring illustrations - RGB or CMYK?

I am in the process of colouring a series of hand-drawn illustrations in Photoshop using a graphics tablet. The colouring process takes place mostly using Photoshop's native drawing tools - the ...
4
votes
2answers
727 views

RGB to CMYK conversion problem

I'm having a rather annoying problem! I have RGB images made in Photoshop that I need to convert to CMYK. When I save the file my black background is converted to a light grey! I tried deleting my ...
3
votes
7answers
5k views

What tools can I use to create Fractal Art?

There are many fractal generation softwares such as the free Xaos and Fractal Architect 2. I normally use Mathematica to generate fractals and process them later with editing tool but this time have ...
3
votes
4answers
395 views

What's the term for CMYK ink proof/tests that are printed on inconspicuous places of packaging, newspapers, etc?

I'm looking to place the color proof/test somewhere on the printable area of a box. The problem is that I don't know what they are called and where to get information about them (pattern, template, ...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

Saving a document in photoshop CMYK turns SOME black into gray

I am creating a rather big photoshop document 3000x3000 which i want to print. I thought i took all the precautions: CMYK color mode 300ppi save as pdf and so on Still when i save the picture as pdf ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

How do I save an image with CMYK in Paint.NET?

I'm more comfortable with resizing/cropping images in Paint.NET. My wife needs to submit a portrait for something and the requirements are a 3x5 300 DPI JPG or TIFF in CMYK. I can handle the size and ...
3
votes
3answers
658 views

Business Card printing and correct CMYK profile settings

So I bought this business card template that comes as a PSD file with the U.S Web Coated (SWOP) v2 CMYK profile. I edited it in Photoshop and then found out the printer company: wants CMYK colour ...
3
votes
2answers
380 views

Pantone Colourbridge Uncoated viewing in illustrator

I have a hard copy swatch of pantone Colour bridge uncoated colours. I am setting up some packaging items in illustrator and have shown the client visuals in CMYK. I have now selected the Pantones ...
3
votes
1answer
381 views

“Black text has been set up so it prints as 4 colours, rather than just black” - what?

I'm currently dealing with a printer, who I've been working with for a year or two. We've sent off to had one of our brochures reprinted - the same files as last time, except now they're having some ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the blue in my AI file black in my PDF file?

I created a RSVP card for a friend and in the AI file the color is NAVY Blue but when I save as a PDF and attach it on the email it is black. Does anyone know a solution?
3
votes
1answer
26k views

How to pick a specific Pantone color in Photoshop? What about finding a Pantone that is close to a specific CMYK color?

How would I select a specific Pantone color in Photoshop, e.g. PMS 5625? Also, how do you pick a Pantone colour that is similar to a specific CMYK color, e.g. C61, M41, Y58, K16 green? In this ...
3
votes
2answers
419 views

Is the maximum ink percentage embedded in the pdf color profile?

I am placing some Photoshop-made artwork into InDesign and exporting to PDF for print. My artwork is quite dark, and Ps's eyedropper tells me that some of my blacks are around the 90/95/95/85 mark. My ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

PDF CMYK export in Inkscape

I'm trying to use the PDF CMYK export plugin for Inkscape, but it fails when I save the document. I have selected an ICC profile (A FOGRA39L.icc profile) and applied it to most of the colors in my ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

How can I set CMYK values in Scribus?

When I create a new CMYK color for my document, the color’s values change when I edit it back, as you can see in this animation (sorry for the bad quality): For example: 65,00% becomes 65,10% ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

How to make CMYK Spectrum the same in two documents in Illustrator CS6?

I have two documents open in Adobe Illustrator CS6 for Mac. They are both dragons and I want the dragons to be the same colour. I have entered the same value however the colours are different. I ...
2
votes
3answers
11k views

How to convert grayscale bitmap to one CMYK color in Photoshop?

How do you convert a grayscale bitmap a to one CMYK color in Photoshop for printing, eg. C61, M41, Y58, K16 green?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I spot a difference between a 4 color process print vs Spot color print?

What does the difference look like? What is the advantage of using Spot Color over CMYK?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Converting bar code to CMYK “True Black”

I have .tiff. Part of the .tiff is a bar code. My printer is insisting the bar code be converted to 100%K - CMYK "pure black". (Their words) A couple obstacles: 1) The Bar Code has been scaled up. ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Mismatched CMYK Values

I have a strange problem with Illustrator. The company I am working with has a stock hex colour - #0074aa (1). According to online conversion sites, this hex code translates to the CMYK of: C: 100 ...
2
votes
2answers
67 views

Adobe Illustrator Vector colors look completely different when opened on another computer

I have sent a file to a client which was saved in CMYK colors. They opened the file and the colors are nothing like the original design. Any ideas what is happening here? Any help is much appreciated. ...
2
votes
3answers
752 views

How to use photoshop file in Indesign for print (having Pantone colors)

I have a question for you guys... :) I have Pantone Colors in my photoshop files. However, I am also using Indesign to do final composing and exporting of the design. I was wondering what is the ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Why is my color being darkened when printed?

I am creating a logo and I am using Pantone 638U in Illustrator. I know Pantone has to be premixed but I just wanted to test print on my printer in CMYK. So I converted it to cmyk which is C83 M0 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

PDF colours coming out 'dull' when exported as cmyk

We make quite a lot of mood boards in InDesign, which we then export as CMYK PDFs (Document CMYK - U.S Web Coated(SWOP) v2) as the image below. We then send them off to the printers to be printed on ...
2
votes
1answer
367 views

How do I identify text layers as individual PMS colors?

I am getting a product label printed and the printer is asking that the text in the PSD file to be identified as PMS colors. I renamed the title of the layers to the specific color (e.g. Pantone 116) ...