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How Four-color Printing (CMYK) Works
- 2022-03-28 -

What is four-color printing?

Four-color printing is a system that separates a color image into four different color values (called separations) by using filters and screens. In the past this was done using film on a graphics camera, but now it is usually done digitally using software. The result is the separation of 4 images, which can be reproduced when transferred to a printing plate and printed on the printing press with color inks cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow, and black (k in cmyk) in that order The original color. image. The entire spectrum or the entire color gamut can be reproduced using only a variety of printing ink colors. The four-color printing process is widely used in the graphic arts and commercial printing industries to reproduce color images and text.

CMYK process printing function

It always uses the same 4 standardized base colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black)

These colored dots are printed at different angles to create a printed image

The most widely used and cost-effective color system in commercial printing

For a lot of runs, it’s much cheaper than toner or digital printing

The use of color in printing can increase readership and information retention.

Research in a major journal has shown that using color can increase readership by 40% or more. A university study showed a 65% improvement in material retention when using full color instead of black and white. See more research on why color is so important in marketing.