What is CMYK in offset printing?


The four-color printing mode is a color registration mode used in color printing. It uses the principle of color mixing of three primary colors of color materials, plus black ink, and a total of four colors are mixed and superimposed to form the so-called "full-color printing". The four standard colors are: C:Cyan = cyan, also known as 'sky blue' or 'blue'; M:Magenta = magenta, also known as 'magenta'; Y:Yellow = yellow; K:blacK= Black, although some literature explains that the K here should be Key Color (positioning and registration color), but it is actually confused with the concept of positioning and registration used in plate making. The abbreviation here uses the last letter K instead of the beginning B to avoid confusion with Blue. The CMYK mode is a subtractive color mode, and the corresponding RGB mode is an additive color mode.

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What is CMYK

CMYK is also called printing color mode, as the name implies, it is used for printing. 

CMYK offset ink 

Compared with RGB, it has a big difference: RGB mode is a color mode in which the screen displays 

light, and you can still see the content on the screen in a dark room;

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CMYK is a color mode used for printed matter that relies on reflection. How do we read the content 

of the newspaper? 

It is when sunlight or light shines on the newspaper and then reflects it to our eyes to see the content. 

It requires an external light source, and you can't read a newspaper if you're in a dark room.

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As long as the image displayed on the screen is expressed in RGB mode. As long as the image seen on

the printed matter is expressed in CMYK mode. For example, periodicals, magazines, newspapers,posters, etc. are all printed, so they are in CMYK mode.

The difference between CMYK and spot color

1. CMYK—that is, four colors of cyan, magenta (magenta), yellow, and black. In printing, these four colors can 

usually reproduce thousands of other colors;

2. Spot color - spot color ink refers to a pre-mixed specific color ink (or special pre-mixed ink), which is used to 

replace or supplement the printing color (CMYK) ink, such as bright orange, green, fluorescent Color, metal 

gold and silver ink, etc., or it can be bronzing plate, embossed plate, etc., or it can be used as a partial varnish 

plate, etc. It is not made by mixing CMYK four colors. Each spot color requires a special printing plate when it is 

printed. (It can be simply understood as a pair of spot color film, and the spot color is printed separately when 

printing), spot color means accurate color.

Attachment:spot color--means that when printing, the color is not synthesized by printing CMYK four colors, but is printed

 with a specific ink.

reason for adding black

The three colors of cyan, magenta and yellow are also the three primary colors of printing. The three colors can 

be mixed theoretically to produce black, but in reality, due to the limitation of production technology, the purity 

of the ink is often not satisfactory, and the mixed black is not strong enough, so we can only rely on purified 

Black is mixed. In addition, ink consumption can also be saved. If there is no black ink in the black part of a 

picture, the same amount of CMY is mixed into black. If there is black, you can directly use black to reduce the 

amount of ink used.

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