EVER WONDER WHY THE COLORS ON YOUR TV/COMPUTER SCREEN DON'T LOOK LIKE THE FINISHED PRODUCT?
The colors you see on your screen will never match the colors in your prints exactly. This is because the colors on screens are generated by combinations of three colors: red, green and blue (RGB). Conversely, digital printers use anywhere from four to eight ink colors to reproduce the image from your screen. CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) is the standard for four-color digital printing.
Computer monitors emit color as RGB light. Although all colors of the visible spectrum can be produced by merging red, green and blue light, monitors can display only a limited gamut (range of color) of the visible spectrum.
Printed products absorb or reflect specific wavelengths of light, unlike a screen that emits light. Cyan, magenta and yellow pigments or dyes serve as filters, subtracting varying degrees of red, green and blue from white light to produce a selective gamut of spectral colors.
As you can see, there is marked difference in how both types of color generation work. One is additive; the other is subtractive. In digital product decoration, you design in an additive environment (RGB), and then the printer and software has to convert those colors to work in a subtractive environment (CMYK).
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