FAQ: RGB vs CMYK

As a graphic designer, doing anything in color requires you to be at least somewhat familiar with the two most common color models: RGB (red, green, blue) and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). Understanding the RGB and CMYK difference is an essential part of successful graphic design. Here’s what you need to know.

What's the difference between RGB & CMYK?

Well, in short, both RGB and CMYK are modes for mixing color in graphic design programs – RGB color mode is best for digital work (like Social Media posts, videos and website design), while CMYK is used for print products (like business cards and flyers).

RGB vs CMYK

What is RGB?

RGB (Red, Green and Blue) is the color space for digital images. Use the RGB color mode if your design is supposed to be displayed on any kind of screen. Designers can control aspects like saturation, vibrancy and shading by modifying any of the three source colors. Because it’s done digitally, the designer manipulates how the light on the screen manifests to create the color they want.

When to use RGB?

File formats for RGB?

It’s best to avoid TIFF, EPS, PDF and BMP for RGB purposes. These formats are not compatible with most software, not to mention they can be unnecessarily large in terms of data.

What is CMYK?

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black) is the color space for printed materials. A printing machine creates images by combining CMYK colors to varying degrees with physical ink. This is known as subtractive mixing. All colors start as blank white, and each layer of ink reduces the initial brightness to create the preferred color. When all colors are mixed together, they create pure black.

When to use CMYK?

File formats for CMYK?

All things considered, it’s always best to consult your printer beforehand to find out which file format they prefer.

Conclusion

Knowing how the colors interact to define a pigment can give you greater control over how the final color looks, and therefore greater control over your final design. The more you work within a particular color mode the better you’ll get at predicting how the design file will translate to an end product. That’s why if you want picture-perfect colors every time, it’s best to hire a professional designer.

Share this

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on email
Email
RGB vs CMYK

Table of Contents

Recent Posts

share this

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on email
Email

Sign up to our newsletter

Never miss a post – get all the top stories from Zoeke.

Our website uses cookies to improve your user experience. If you continue browsing, we assume that you consent to our use of cookies. More information can be found in our Cookies Policy and Privacy Policy