If I made an advertisement for printing in CMYK mode but I need to upload that file as JPEG online for client, should I use RGB?

  • It should be mentioned that both of the linked images below are different on my monitor than yours (and everyone's). I have a mis-matched dual monitor setup with calibrated profiles and they render the color differently within the same browser window. Printed CMYK can be counted on to be the same no matter the viewer (within tolerances). RGB for web can be counted on to be different.
    – horatio
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 19:27

3 Answers 3


Files for professional printing should be CMYK.

Most desktop printers are calibrated to print in sRGB color space not CMYK though.

If you are making a file for the web you should convert it to sRGB not just RGB. if you leave that up to the browsers you will get a poor color conversion see photo.

from Fstoppers.com

  • Nice example and +1 for noting that it has to be sRGB. Commented May 8, 2014 at 6:33

Well the issue with this workflow is that the colors will not match. Ideally if you are wanting to show a print job it should be printed. That said I hope when you send a proof you are using a disclaimer and educating the client that if they are not calibrated, colors you send them may look differently.

Also, I would send it to them in CMYK and suggest they print it. Signing off on a proof online is incorrect and will lead to possible issues when it goes to print.

You should not send a proof in a .jpg file but rather than in a .pdf file in CMYK.

  • Ok, understand, but one more question. If I make ads for freelance websites where I need to upload them to that site, I need to upload jpg as RGB or CMYK?
    – dizzy1
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 17:15
  • If you are designing for the web it needs to be in RGB. If you are designing for print it should be in CMYK. If you have a design that is going to be used for web and print you should have two files, one for web and one for print. ALWAYS make sure to test and compare colors. Some colors look great printed but are horrible on screen. Also, make sure you are using a reliable color calibration.
    – user9447
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 17:17

Yes, anything that is intended to display online should be in RGB. The web display standard is sRGB specifically and anything for display on the web should be converted to sRGB using "Perceptual" or "Relative Colorimetric" as the rendering intent. Evan's example shows very well what happens if an image isn't converted before being placed online. Although he's referencing Adobe RGB, the same applies to any color profile or color model, such as CMYK, that isn't sRGB.

Once it's converted, you don't need to include the color profile if the image will only be displayed online. All browsers assume an image is sRGB (one reason you're not likely to have much joy with a CMYK jpeg) and will display it as such.

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