Whether you’re a designer or you’re getting something related to design, you must be familiar with these two colour spaces. But have you ever thought about why do printers prefer to use CMYK instead of RGB? RGB vs CMYK and what’s the difference between both.
What is RGB ?
RGB stands for three colours – Red, Green, and Blue. These are basically the primary colours that create new colours by adding two or more colours. That is why it is also known as the additive model.
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.
A light source within a device creates any color you need by mixing red, green and blue and varying their intensity.
This is known as additive mixing: all colors begin as black darkness and then red, green and blue light is added on top of each other to brighten it and create the perfect pigment.
When red, green and blue light is mixed together at equal intensity, they create pure white.
so its uses are for web and presented on the screen only but What If Someone Requires a Design for Both Print and Web? there you have CMYK
What is CMYK ?
There are cases when someone needs a design both for print and web versions, for instance, there is a logo. In that case, we suggest you start the designing process with the CMYK model and get the printed assets designed such as a brochure, banners, cards, etc It will help in getting the closer colour options for web designs.
CYMK stands for four colours – Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and key (black). In this case, Black is referred to as key because it is used in the key plate which is accountable for adding the detail and contrast to the final image. CMYK is the subtractive colour model. That is why it works opposite to RGB.
Now you must have noticed i talked about two colour model additive model for RGB and subtractive colour model for CMYK, well that bring us to next topic
Additive vs Subtractive
The first thing to understand about colours is the difference between being additive and subtractive. This will help us understand why monitors use RGB and printers use CMYK.
To put it simply, on a monitor, light is being emitted (or added), which is important because when you emit (or add) Red, Green, and Blue they create White (shown in the diagram below).
- R+G+B = White (light)
When we look at ink or paint however, light is being absorbed (or subtracted) and when you absorb Red, Green, and Blue you get Black, as shown in the second diagram.
- R-G-B = Black (Ink)
This is the foundation for understanding why printers use CMYK, while we normally see TVs and computer monitors using RGB.
Why Do Printers Use CMYK Instead of RGB?
Mixing RGB colors together would create a lesser variety of muddy, making it vague. One can begin with black paper and add light to it till the time they attain white because light can’t be tinted on a surface. It means that we are limited to using CMYK inks.
So what happens if you try to print RGB on a CMYK printer? Lucky for most of us, printing RGB files on a CMYK printer is not going to drastically misrepresent the colours of the image, but sometimes the colour mismatch can be noticeable. The most common mismatch is usually with Blues looking more Purple.
CONCLUSION RGB vs CMYK
I hope you like our article and must have clearly understood the difference and uses of these two color modes RGB and CMYK, And the reason why CMYK is the preferable color spaces among printers
Hence now can plan and optimize each stage of the design process. And get a desirable result.
Anyway, they are mostly colours so Depending on where and how the final result is displayed, one colour space is always better than the other.