CMYK vs RGB; CMYK Wins Every Time in the Print World

Shows CMYK vs RGB

CMYK and RGB are acronyms that refer to color models used to create images and files. CMYK color mode is used for printing. RGB color mode is used to display images that are intended to be viewed on monitors and screens only.

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CMYK and RGB are acronyms that refer to color models used to create images and files. CMYK color mode is used for printing. RGB color mode is used to display images that are intended to be viewed on monitors and screens only.

CMYK vs RGBCMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These four basic ink colors are combined together in varying amounts to create a wide variety of colors for printing. You should always request a CMYK copy of your logo or any other file that you would like to have printed from your Graphic Designer. The above Blissful Bicycle logo and marketing materials look as though they were just printed with blue ink but in actuality, the blue color is made up of 55% Cyan ink and 22% Magenta ink. When the two color values are combined for printing the above blue is the result. 

RGB is for Digital Output
RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. These colors are actually lights that are mixed to create and display digital images on screens and electronic devices. Images created using RGB color mode are able to display very vibrantly, but those bright neon colors are not able to be reproduced using CMYK inks.

When you try to print files that are intended to be viewed digitally on a screen, the print color outcome will be much different than what appears on your screen. Here is an example of what an RGB file looks like on screen in comparison to how it looks when converted to CMYK for printing.

RGB to CMYK

If your file is going to be printed, it needs to be set up in CMYK color mode. How can you make sure your file is set up in CMYK? Below are the steps to check your print files using popular Adobe design software. 

Adobe Photoshop – Image > Mode > CMYK Color
Adobe Illustrator – File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color
Adobe InDesign – File > Document Setup > Intent: Print

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CMYK Black Builds – Our Suggestions and Why

Primo Print Rich Black CMYK Suggestions

Printing a true or rich black can be tricky, so we’re breaking down CMYK configurations for both our suggested black CMYK builds and explaining why some of the frequently used black builds are not recommended.

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Printing a true or rich black can be tricky, so we’re breaking down CMYK configurations for both our suggested black CMYK builds and explaining why some of the frequently used black builds are not recommended.

The printing industry suggests many variations of CMYK configurations for printing a true or rich black. After a lot of testing and calibration, we’ve selected two configurations that work best for our presses. The two different configurations are dependent upon the stock and/or finish that you are ordering.

Using rich black results in a darker tone than 100% black ink alone. For the best possible results, we recommend a rich black value of C60, M40, Y40, K100 for coated and/or laminated products as well as promo flags20PT plastic cards, and magnets.

For matte products, uncoated products, and banners, we suggest a rich black value of C40, M40, Y20, K100.

The chart below shows our recommended black CMYK configurations in relation to the stock and/or finish it should be used for. Simply find the stock and/or finish that you are planning to order and use the recommended configuration for the best printing result.

Suggest Black CMYK Builds

C0, M0, Y0, K100 will usually result in a very dark gray, but not a rich black. We commonly see the default black in Adobe Photoshop used instead of our recommended rich black build. The issue with using C75, M68, Y67, K90 is that it will not print a truly rich black. That configuration is the result of converting true black in RGB to CMYK. The print result will generally be muddy due to the oversaturated color build.

For the best results, we recommend using the values listed in the above chart. Have any questions? Feel free to contact our awesome customer support team for further assistance.

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How to Setup Full Service EDDM® Postcard Files

How to Setup Full-Service EDDM Files

Since the launch of Full Service EDDM®, there have been quite a few questions regarding the setup of the print files. The USPS® requires this product to be designed a bit differently than regular print-only EDDM®, so we thought we’d try to answer a few of the most common questions.

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Since the launch of Full Service EDDM®, there have been quite a few questions regarding the setup of the print files. The USPS® requires this product to be designed a bit differently than regular print-only EDDM®, so we thought we’d try to answer a few of the most common questions.

Let’s Talk Indicia!

Print-only EDDM® is pretty loose with the size and location of the indicia and the “local postal customer” box. There are basic requirements, but overall, you have some wiggle room. With Full Service EDDM®, the post office is giving you a postage discount because Primo Print is doing all the work for them. We are ensuring them that the paperwork is filled out correctly and that the indicia and postal information are perfectly placed and readable. That is why it is so important to follow the templates we provide on our site.(Click to download the appropriate size template 4.5″ x 12″6.5″ x 9″6.5″ x 12″6″ x 12″8.5″ x 7″8.5″ x 11″8.5″ x 14″8″ x 6.5″8″ x 10″9″ x 11″9″ x 12″)

We have templates available in all size options for download. No matter if you are using InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, or other design software, all you have to do is place the indicia image first and then build your artwork on top of the template. We provide the indicia template in .eps and .psd formats for horizontal and vertical layouts.

When I design Full-Service EDDM®, I always set up my InDesign file according to the postcard size I’m printing, and then I draw a frame rectangle – fitting it perfectly to the edges of the page. Next, I place the EPS indicia file that matches my final postcard print size. Do not “fit to page”, “center” or make any additional adjustments to the file. It should place perfectly where it is to print.

Then, make sure you lock it into place. Now, as you build your postcard artwork, you know that the indicia and postal box are secured in the required position. You’ll want to be sure you place the indicia that matches your postcard print size exactly. Each template is slightly different to match the postcard proportions.

The indicia and local postal customer boxes can go right over the top of your background image. Just make sure the background image is on the layer below the locked indicia layer.

Return Address Placement

The return address is very important and is a required element of your postcard. You need to supply either a physical address or a P.O. Box, and where you put it is just as important. Normally, we think of the return address going just to the left of the indicia. But with Full Service EDDM®, it is required for the return address to be placed in the top left corner. Some people choose to make it fairly small and on one line so that it is not too noticeable. Others choose to place the logo at the very top with the address large underneath it. It really just depends on whether or not you would like for your customers to notice it.

EDDM Address Placement

If you follow these two simple placement requirements, your Full Service EDDM® postcards should be able to mail properly!

If you need further assistance with your EDDM® setup, feel free to contact our design department. We would be happy to help you set up the postal information or even help you design your postcard from scratch.

SEE ALSO: What is Full Service EDDM®?

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Spring 2017 Color Trends and Combinations

Gone are the days where the color black rules the world. For many years, black was considered a color of power, and white was a color of tradition. But according to Pantone and recent color trends, the power lies in color – bright, get-me-noticed color.

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Gone are the days where the color black rules the world. For many years, black was considered a color of power, and white was a color of tradition. But according to Pantone and recent color trends, the power lies in color – bright, get-me-noticed color.

Every year, Pantone takes a look at what is going on in the world around us and chooses a color that reflects what they feel is “a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.” And every year, they seem to get it right. We start seeing those colors used in not only graphic design but interior design and fashion.

This year’s “Greenery” symbolizes a new beginning. To me, it really represents life, excitement, and growth. Greenery is a bright, earthy green that can be relevant no matter the season. This brings me to spring!

Pantone Swatches Spring 2017

This year, I think we have the opportunity to have a lot of fun with the spring pallet. Sometimes it can be kind of scary to put yourself out there with such bold colors, but I’d really encourage you to give it a try.

Below are a few color combinations that I created, based on the 2017 Pantone Spring Colors. I’ve kept them very simple, with only three colors per combination. I find so many amazing color pallets online, but when designing pieces, sometimes it’s more realistic (and aesthetically pleasing) to minimize the use of multiple colors.

2017 Spring Color Swatches

So, how do these colors look in action? Below are two business card designs that our in-house designers have put together, using the Pantone Spring Colors. Each design is unique, showing that these new trendy colors will be relevant, no matter the business or subject.

SEE ALSO: How to Unlock the Power of Color for You and Your Brand

There are also a few colors that Pantone didn’t include that I’m seeing a lot lately. Below are my personal selections for trendy colors that may be popping up a little more in the months to come.

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