The Way Eye Sees It Blog
About Herb Paynter
Return to Services Offered page
RGB Photography vs CMYK Print Production
When images are captured by a camera and viewed on a monitor, they use the transmission color model of RGB. These colors are bright, clean, and saturated colors that simply cannot be reproduced on a printing press. RGB colors are brighter because they are based on transmitted light (transluscent colors backlit by white light). CMYK colors are based on reflected light (light reflecting off of colored ink printed on white paper) and are thus less saturated and not as bright. Nobody can change this process, and none of us actually like it, but it's a law of physics.
RGB colors must be converted to CMYK ink colors for the printing process. The conversion from RGB ot CMY(K) is problematic largely because they cannot make printing inks that have the inherent brightness and saturation of computer monitor colors. The challenge is to enhance the CMYK colors to print as bright and clear as possible. No small challenge!