RGB vs CMYK: Why the Right Colorspace Makes All the Difference

Posted on Feb 5 2018 - 5:59pm by Business Day TV

Pictures printed with colorThe printing profession has come a long way since Johannes Guttenberg. Even in today’s digital world, printing still has its place in the form of signs, graphic designs, and calling cards.

From decals to stickers, brochures to blueprints, Dallas print shops are here for your every printing need. But before you send that file or pick that font, it’s important to note that color plays a huge role in design.

Light and color go hand-in-hand, and when it comes to printing, color is everything. After all, you don’t want that hard work to go to waste because of a printing mishap.


In graphic design, colors are represented by colorspace. A colorspace is a mathematical model that defines colors. This is what the printer uses to transfer that digital element onto your medium of choice.

RGB and Natural Light

There are two colorspaces. RGB stands for Red Blue and Green, and represents the emittance of light. RGB is an additive color spectrum, and when combined, these three colors form white. This is similar to natural light.

Printer printing colored picturesDisplays (like computer monitors) use the emittance of light to create colors. They are usually preset to RGB. Most design programs also have RGB as the default setting.

However, the ink toner does not transfer the emittance of light accurately. Since light absorption represents colors from non-light sources, a new colorspace was needed.


CMYK stands for Cyan Magenta Yellow and Black. This means that when Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow are combined, they form Black or the absorption of light. CMYK does not include all the colors on the RGB spectrum. As a result, RGB designs printed on CMYK look different.

READ  The Current State of the SEO Industry

Since RGB colors cover CMYK colors, switching your monitor’s display to CMYK can prevent discoloration. Picking the right colorspace can save your work and choosing the right printers can immortalize it.