Fotoprint Ltd.
975 Pandora Avenue
Victoria, BC V8V 3P4

P250 382 8218
F250 382 9952
TF1 888 382 8211
 

RGB or CMYK?

RGB and CMYK are two different methods for generating/viewing colours. RGB files must be converted to CMYK before printing.

What is RGB?

The colours you see on your computer monitor, smartphone, TV, digital cameras, etc. are in RGB (Red, Green, Blue).

What is CMYK?

Commercial printers print with CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK), also known as '4 Colour Process'.

You convert from RGB to CMYK (recommended)

Many graphics software programs give you the option to work in either RGB or CMYK colour spaces. An image created in RGB is not going to look the same when it's printed using the CMYK four colour process. That means you should convert your images to CMYK before you pass the file to us. The best way to do that is by creating your document in a CMYK workspace and converting your RGB images to CMYK in Photoshop (ideally using the GRACoL profile) before placing them in your document. All of this should be done BEFORE you make a PDF, unless you are working in software which doesn't support conversion, like MS Word or Apple Pages. Other times it may be a matter of timing or necessity (e.g. you've collected a bunch of tiny logos from Web sites, and the output quality isn't critical for this project). We have set up a system at Fotoprint which scans your entire PDF and converts images to CMYK using the GRACoL profile, which is the profile our equipment is calibrated to.

Or... we will convert from RBG to CMYK

If you are a professional designer, we may assume that an RGB file was provided to us unintentionally, and we will advise you accordingly. For the majority of jobs, however, we will proceed with converting and outputting a proof, but will advise that you see the proof in person to confirm the conversion meets your needs.

Further Study

What are the limitations of soft proofing?

A PDF proof, or soft proof, is a useful tool but needs to be used with CAUTION. Specific limitations are:

  • The colour of the printed piece will not match your screen/monitor. Even with the best calibration and monitor profiling, there is no reliable way to make an RGB monitor match a CMYK print. A hardcopy proof is the only option for making sure that the end result will be what you are expecting.
  • It's human nature to skim over an item on the screen, where mistakes tend to jump out more on a printed page.
  • Sizing, folding, pagination, and orientation are very hard to judge on a screen.
  • Low resolution images won't be noticeable on the screen, but will stand out like a sore thumb on the hardcopy.
  • Graphic designers utilizing transparencies, overprints, duotones, and other techniques need to see a hardcopy to determine how these will print.

For all orders at Fotoprint, we generate a hardcopy proof at the same time as the online version. Every proof except wide-format will be accurate to the finished print (wide format is a reasonable match, a stock-match colour-accurate proof can be obtained for an additional fee)

What is the difference between RGB and CMYK colour?

RGB and CMYK are two different methods for generating/viewing colours. RGB files must be converted to CMYK before printing.

What is RGB?

The colours you see on your computer monitor, smartphone, TV, digital cameras, etc. are in RGB (Red, Green, Blue)

What is CMYK?

Commercial printers print with CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK), also known as '4 Colour Process'.

You convert from RGB to CMYK (recommended)

Many graphics software programs give you the option to work in either RGB or CMYK colour spaces. An image created in RGB is not going to look the same when it's printed using the CMYK four colour process. That means you should convert your images to CMYK before you pass the file to us. The best way to do that is by creating your document in a CMYK workspace and converting your RGB images to CMYK in Photoshop (ideally using the GRACoL profile) before placing them in your document. All of this should be done BEFORE you make a PDF, unless you are working in software which doesn't support conversion, like MS Word or Apple Pages. Other times it may be a matter of timing or necessity (e.g. you've collected a bunch of tiny logos from Web sites, and the output quality isn't critical for this project). We have set up a system at Fotoprint which scans your entire PDF and converts images to CMYK using the GRACoL profile, which is the profile our equipment is calibrated to.

Or... we will convert from RBG to CMYK

If you are a professional designer, we may assume that an RGB file was provided to us unintentionally, and we will advise you accordingly. For the majority of jobs, however, we will proceed with converting and outputting a proof, but will advise that you see the proof in person to confirm the conversion meets your needs.