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Frequently Asked Questions


How does CMYK vs. RGB color mode impact my product label designs?

Which color mode should my graphic designer use when designing my product labels? That's easy - the answer is CMYK!

Our digital presses print in “Four Color Process” mode - often called CMYK because it represents the four primary colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black - the “K” stands for “key,” which means black in printers-speak). These four colors are then mixed in various combinations to give you an unlimited variety of color choices. Our Four Color Process printing is fundamentally similar to how your desktop printer works too - although our industrial presses are probably a little more expensive (like, how does $1Million-plus per press sound?).

In contrast, RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) is a three-color combination used by computer monitors and TV screens. Since our digital presses use CMYK mode, printing a product label that's designed in RGB mode can result in significant color distortion. It's therefore critical that your designer create your artwork files in CMYK mode to maintain accurate colors for your product label.

Free tip - if your designer doesn't know the difference between CMYK vs. RGB color mode, or wants to argue about the correct one to use, we politely suggest you might wish to reconsider that relationship. If your carpenter doesn't know the difference between a hammer and a nail, the same advice applies. No charge - you're very welcome.

Bonus free tip (we're feeling generous today) - NEVER look at a computer monitor and assume the color will look the same when printed. Tweaking a design on-screen to achieve a pleasing color result is a recipe for disaster when you print the same design. ALWAYS test-print the design on your own desktop printer as a starting point, which if nothing else will demonstrate the differences between an RGB monitor and a CMYK printer. Then throw that printout way - because you can also assume that almost every desktop printer will produce a slightly different result (even identical models). We're not trying to frighten you here (wizards are not monsters), but trying to help you understand that what your designer shows you on their computer is NOT a good representation of the printed result. Again, hammers and nails.

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