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CMYK vs RGB

Updated: Feb 21


What is the difference between CMYK and RGB?

RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is the color system used for digital applications. Anything that will be shown on a digital screen such as computer, TVs, phones, etc. It's a color system based off of light with you starting out with black and adding red, green and blue light on top of it until you create your desired color. When you mix all three colors evenly in this light based color system you then get pure white light. This process is called additive mixing.



CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key) is the color system used for all printed materials and is called subtractive mixing. Printers use cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink cartridges where all color starts off as white and the printer will added layers of each of those four colors to create your desired color. When these four colors are evenly mixed together you get pure black.



RGB colors are much more bright and vibrant it has a much greater range of color possibilities due to the fact you are mixing light on a digital screen. Meanwhile, CMYK colors are not as bright and vibrant because they are limited to what can be translated into printed ink.


Here at C-Slide where we do commercial printing for the promo industry we use the CMYK printing process.


Click the link to learn more:

"RGB vs CMYK: What’s the difference?" by Matt Ellis



Or watch this video by Vectornator


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