I have an RGB PSD document with 300 dpi resolution. Basically I designed it to print as my business card. When converting this from RGB to CMYK, my original colors are changing. Is there any way to keep the colors intact so CMYK looks exactly the same as RGB?

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    Have you searched the other questions here. RGB is always different from CMYK. – Lucian Jan 26 '17 at 8:00
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    This was a slightly different question, but the answer is the same: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/4464/… – Westside Jan 26 '17 at 8:47
  • "RGB is always different from CMYK." and thats what I am asking here as "How do I change it to look almost similar to RGB" if there actually is any way which I believe there must be. @Lucian – sumit badaya Jan 26 '17 at 10:25
  • My workflow is: Make a flattened copy. Put them side by side. Then I convert the copy to CMYK and I use Hue and Saturation to approximate the colors. – LeoNas Feb 5 at 19:31

No, you can't expect RGB colors to translate exactly to CMYK for printing. This is a fundamental, simple fact. You can't fight physics -- the physical qualities of light vs. ink on paper.

You can't use RGB for printing for the same reason you can't light up a room by holding up a photo of a torch.

A torch is fire, giving off light. A photograph or magazine is paper with ink on it, which can only reflect the light that shines on it. A monitor is fire compared to printed materials.

Monitors make colors with light. Light can be any intensity. Ink is made of solid physical colors from things like rocks, which are ground up and put in a medium like oil or latex. You spread ink on paper and it's never going to be as bright as a color on a monitor.

Offset printing presses use four specific ink colors -- CYMK. When they are mixed together, they can produce many shades, but not nearly the type of shades -- such as electric green, safety orange, deep blues, and many other shades and intensities -- that can be produced by a monitor, or by special chemical mixtures (having nothing to do with CMYK) that create specialized inks/paints.

  • I should also in the interest of accuracy amend my answer to say that CMYK colors are not exactly "mixed" in offset printing. Halftone dots are printed in rosette shapes that our eyes perceive as different colors. It's an amazing technology, really. Check out this: the-print-guide.blogspot.com/2009/04/… – user8356 Nov 7 '17 at 14:38

By changing color mode you essentially change colors.

RGB and CMYK are entirely different color spaces, and can't even reproduce some colors available in other. Because of that, and because both color spaces achieve their colors through entire different method (RGB is additive and CMYK is subtractive) the colors you get when switching color mode in document will be made as close to original as possible - but not identical.

If you want a coherent color scheme in your identification system, you must select it at first, and find equivalents in other color spaces prior to working with them. That way, you'll be sure your color scheme stays the same throughout your entire work.

There is a lot of debate whether documents for print should be prepared in RGB or CMYK colorspace - some newer printers do work on RGB colorspace and try to preserve colors when printing, but in my experience and because most printing offices that I work with don't use state-of-the-art modern machines I've learned that if I want some color in print to appear as I've designed, I should make it a CMYK one.

Some articles on the issue: http://www.brighthub.com/multimedia/publishing/articles/21251.aspx http://cruxcreative.com/rgb-vs-cmyk-when-to-use-which-and-why/ http://www.printing.org/page/2779

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    I am very surprised to read that there is discussion about whether print documents should be prepared in RGB. As far as I know, that is always a Bad Idea. Can you substantiate this claim? It's the first time I hear of it. – Vincent Sep 13 '17 at 2:34
  • Vincent, I started getting confused here smashingmagazine.com/2009/10/… – Monnize Oct 12 '17 at 15:17

It's easy, In Photoshop specifically. You save your edited photo as .psd file, then change the photo Mode from RGB to CMYK, but before this converting, you are asked to rasterize the image and flatten all layers, so you'll lose your original work and image. When the image is rasterized and flatten, then go again in section "Image" than "Mode" and change your RGB image to CMYK... without losing any colors!

I was playing with this problem and I find this way to solve it.

Good Luck! 😉

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    Welcome! RGB colors and CMYK colors are different per definition! Changing fron one to the other means loosing of colors ... – Mensch Feb 5 at 18:12
  • Welcome to GDSE. Please look around tour to get a sense of who we are as a community, and what we're about. Look at How to Ask and How to Answer questions, to learn how to frame acceptable queries and what to expect of replies and answers; please also look at help center to understand our community's internal behavioural expectations. RGB & CMYK aren't just different colour models, they're also a different colour gamut, so there are RGB colours you cannot approximate in CMYK - there's no bright light shining from your colour - just bounce light, and colours absorb light, not add. – GerardFalla Feb 6 at 16:03

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