enter image description hereConverting my photoshop work from RGB to CMYK to send to print. Found out today that RGB has a much broader and vibrant colour array than CMYK.

Trying to edit the values, saturation, brightness, exposure etc. to make my greens look even REMOTELY close to what I want. All I've been told is "you'll never get CMYK to look like RGB" which is fine, except for nearly every magazine and booklet I have at home has the vivid, vibrant greens and blues I want. How?

It's very frustrating especially seeing as I've only learned this 3 days before I need to have it printed.

I've searched the values for lime green with CMYK with were C - 70 & Y - 100 (in reality I want it a bit darker than that) but it just comes out as a murky khaki colour on my screen.

The green on the left is the colour I get in RGB. The other two are the colours I've managed to replicate. However, I have at least 6 brochures/booklets at the side of me which all have that bright green colour on the left in them. So why can't I get that colour? Is there a difference between screen and print due to the way the models work? I'm a novice to this and it's all a bit confusing! Thank you

1 Answer 1


You may remember me from "You'll never get that RGB color in CMYK!"

Now, you said you wanted something darker than Cyan70 +Yellow100:

You don't have much choice to darken your color and keep it bright, you need to add more Cyan! Try C75 + Y100 and keep adding your cyan until you are satisfied.

Forget about your RGB green, and work with the good old color system by adding your CMY values to keep your colors bright and mixing them as it's done with paint. Black will make them more dull so don't add any.

Cyan + Yellow = Green

Magenta + Cyan = Purple

Magenta + Yellow = Bright Red


And yes, your screen might not be perfectly calibrated, but even if it is, CMYK do look way "darker" than RGB colors. Trust your brain, if the Cyan + Yellow you choose to make your green looks like the best you can do, and if the suggestions for the Pantones are close, then these are the right (best) values.


Use a Pantone Chart if that can help you. It's better if you have a printed one, so maybe add this to your wish list! That will help you see some Pantones and their CMYK recipes and have an idea how it looks like on paper (coated or uncoated.)

From what I can see, the closest Pantones to your green is Pantones #360 and #361. You could also have a look at #376 if you want it more lime, it's a very nice bright green once printed.

Some real life examples close to the colors you can expect. It's better than you think.

Pantone #368 with (probably) Pantone blue 072 or Reflex Blue:

Pantone 368

There's also Pantone #347 that is often used for logos and very pure green too.

Pantones 347

Pantones 347 example

Pantone 360

Pantone 360

Pantone #355

Pantone 355

Pantone #362!

Pantone 362

Maybe this can interest you as well. Nice pictures with Pantones.

That's another good trick to start noticing prints you see everywhere and that you know well, and then verify on the brand or logo guidelines what are the colors used. You can often find these info on the brands' websites, developer or media sections, or sometimes Wikipedia. After a while, you will know instinctively what are the best mixes or Pantones to use and you'll have your favorite ones too.

  • I have an older Pantone Formula Guide, but mine tells me that there are no CMYK equivalents for 360, 361, or 376. Is that maybe not the case in newer guides? Unfortunately, bright greens are a bit of a barren wasteland for available CMYK equivalents in my book
    – JohnB
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 16:13
  • You can only get close with CMYK values, not exactly as pantones... Don't hate me for telling you this! You do what you can with the Cyan + Yellow, that's the best you can do. By the way, see my examples, they're just approximate fr the pantones but I can tell you from experience they do look almost as vibrant as the images above once printed.
    – go-junta
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 16:19
  • 2
    One can try one of the more highend stuff like a printer with a green primary color, like hexachrome did.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 16:32
  • 1
    Hello haha yeah I've been told off a few people. I accept you can't get the same colours, I was just curious as to how every other company does them. Tha pantone formula is a big help thank you! :)I wouldn't mind too much if the booklet wasn't heavily laden with green haha. I've been told that when printed onto gloss paper, these colours will look brighter too which I'm hoping is true. I'm going to ask for a sample and if it isn't what I want, it's back to the drawing board.
    – George
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 17:11
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    go-me, good answer. George: I will just add, if you see a C70Y100 as kaki in your monitor, you need to check your monitor.
    – Rafael
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 17:14

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