CMYK – what is it and how does it work?
CMYK – seems like an ordinary combination of letters, that someone made up just for fun or something you can find on your screen after accidentally leaning on the keyboard. People who have a general idea of design or printing might even know where CMYK gets its name. But for people who don’t, might have questions. What is the meaning hiding behind those letters? Do we really have to know what it means? I really hope to make things a bit clearer.
PRIMARY COLORS & NEWSPAPERS
The name CMYK comes from the primary colors. “Who are you kidding. The primary colors are red, blue and yellow, even a first grader knows that!” Yes, I thought so too. Until I decided to educate myself in graphic design department and later found myself working in a place, where CMYK, one colour printing, laminating and hot foil are regular conjunctions. “What the heck are those?”. Again, I confronted the same question, but everything in its time. Today we are focusing on one of the conjunctions, CMYK. Four colour process consists of following:
CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK (or the Key)
HOW DOES IT WORK?
CMYK processing works as follows – four main colours are printed on top of each other until together they combine the expected tone. To create that, printing press needs 4 different pressing plates (one for each colour). The plates have a variation of the same design, but they are distinctively different. Thanks to the black colour used in CMYK model, the printing can be more detailed and different fonts look less blurry. Furthermore, black ink retains other colours so they will not be absorbed into the printed material and this decreases the drying time significantly.
I hope this little summary brought a little light on how and when to use CMYK processing and helps you find suitable options for your print products. If not, you can always count on us and our team who will do everything to help you in the decision making. With good prices, that we can promise.
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