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by Jessie Crook April 17, 2018 2 min read

RGB refers to the primary colours of light, Red, Green and Blue. These are used in monitors, television screens, digital cameras and scanners. We use these daily in our Copy & Print department, based in Blackpool. Depending on what we're creating and printing, depends on whether we use CMYK or RGB or not. CMYK refers to the primary colours of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.

I asked a member of staff in Copy & Print to explain the importance of knowing the difference, here is what Gareth said: 

"When you read about ‘file requirements’, you’ll notice that we talk about CMYK and RGB. To put it simply, CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black, which are the colours that printers, including ours, mix their colours from. Computer monitors display their images by mixing red, green and blue light, or RGB, and this is the required format for web graphics. What’s the difference?

RGB produces a slightly broader colour palette (‘gamut’) than CMYK. If you produce your print files in RGB, you may find that the final print doesn’t fully resemble the onscreen version. If you convert your RGB file to CMYK, or work in CMYK from start, it will better resemble what comes out of the printer. Most current graphics software will give you the option to choose between RGB and CMYK. In short, CMYK for print, RGB for web."

Has this helped? It's worth knowing if you're in a creative field or interested in print. 99 Designs created an article on this topic too, to help upcoming designers create with more knowledge: Click here to read


To order prints or for more printing information please head to our Poster Prints website:

First image by Greyson Joralemon.

Second image by Sergey Zolkin

Third image by Joao Silas.

Jessie Crook
Jessie Crook

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