If you have ever done any kind of design work, you’ve most likely used the color profiles CMYK, RGB, and Pantone. But when designing for print, there are a number of things you’ll need to consider, especially when working on a branded project. The design style, paper selection, and product distribution are always top of mind; but you also need to make sure you’re designing in the correct color profile for how the finished product will be printed or viewed. All of these things must be taken into consideration to make sure your color selection is spot on.
So, let’s talk about the difference between CYMK, RGB, and Pantone colors, especially when preparing an artwork file for print.
CMYK: Use this build when designing for print and signage.
CMYK uses a series of dots (composed of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to create the illusion of different colors. CMYK color builds won’t always be an exact match a Pantone color, but they will create more colorful photos.
Pantone (PMS): Use your PMS color(s) when printing 1 or 2 color, and for consistent logo branding.
When using the Pantone Matching System (PMS), your brand’s PMS color(s) are created using a precise formula, so the color always looks the same.
RGB: Use this color profile when designing something that will be viewed digitally.
**** When designing for print, even though you’re designing on a screen, your color builds should all be in CMYK or Pantone. ***
RGB is the standard color profile used for on-screen design. It combines red, green, and blue light in different combinations to create the colors you see on a screen.
Knowing the difference between CYMK, RGB, and Pantone, and when to use them, will help to keep your branding consistent. Of course, the process used for each project varies, depending on the nature of your print job. Our team is here to help and answer any questions you might have to ensure a successful print project! firstname.lastname@example.org
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