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factfile5.3 CMYK colour mode


CMYKAs you learned when preparing graphics for your publication, CMYK is a colour process that uses Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and BlacK (known as Key) process inks for offset printing. The eye blends dots composed of varying percentages of the four colours into a single colour. If you look closely at print publications like magazines and newspapers with colour photographs, you may be able to see the dots and the print registration marks in the margins.

cmyk wheelSubtractive Colour

CMYK is known as a subtractive colour process because printing inks absorb light. When printing using this model the more ink that is applied, the darker the colour. Subtracting 100% cyan, magenta and yellow results in black. White is created through adding no ink at all. Subtractive colours subtract from white to create other colours, and the subtraction of all the maximum colour values makes black.

When 'prepping' for high-end professional offset printing, the image is separated into four different plates, one for each colour. Serif PagePlus lets you choose whether to make a composite copy (one page) for digital printing, or colour separations (4 pages) for sending the print job to an image setter or plate setter.

From Pixel to Ink Dot : RGB to CMYK

ribbonsComputer monitors use a different colour system from printers. Television and computer screens mix light using the three primary colours - Red, Green and Blue - to reproduce colour. The RGB model is additive: mix all three together and you get white; turn them all off and you get black.

Because devices display and reproduce colour in different formats, everyday problems occur, such as the same
document viewing and printing very differently from different sources. In order to ensure that colours are mapped correctly from source to destination the International Colour Consortium (ICC) has developed a cross-platform colour management system that is widely used throughout the industry. Documents produced in Serif PagePlus conform to this standard.

Technical information is available on the ICC website:

Choose the right color mode

To have work printed professionally in high quality colour, it must be converted to CMYK colour mode. Since this format allows fewer colours than RGB, the look of your graphics could alter dramatically if the change is made at the final stage, so it is advisable to choose the correct colour mode at the very start of your project.*

* Your ICT teacher can find out about calibrating network monitors and printers for colour accuracy by consulting
Managing Screen and Output Colours in Page Plus Help. RGB or CMYK ICC profiles (Adobe standard set) are supplied in PagePlus and can be loaded for each device e.g. monitor, scanner, printer, digital camera.

pin CMYK or RGB?
pin CMYK or RGB? - answers

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