January 10, 2015 in 

What does 4-color-process mean in printing?

In color printing, four color process (also known as CMYK) is a method of printing color by using four inks—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. These four colors are mixed together in various amounts to produce all the colors on the color wheel.

The four color process is the most common way to print full color images. When an image is printed using four color process inks, each pixel is actually made up of four smaller dots, one each of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The human eye sees these tiny dots and perceives them as a single, solid color.

The four color process is sometimes also referred to as CMYK printing, because the four inks used are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. (The K in CMYK stands for “key,” which is another term for black.)

Four color process printing is ideal for printing images with a wide range of colors, like photographs. That’s because the four color process can reproduce a much wider range of colors than can be achieved with just three colors (such as the RGB color model used for display on electronic devices).

One downside of four color process printing is that it can be more expensive than printing with just one or two colors. That’s because each color of ink requires its own printing plate, and four color process printing requires four printing plates (one for each color of ink).

Another downside of four color process printing is that it can sometimes result in colors that are not quite “true” to life. This is because the four color process relies on the human eye to mix the four colors of ink and perceive them as a single color. The human eye is not always perfectly accurate in its color perception, which can result in printed colors that are slightly different than the colors that were intended.

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About the author 

CJ McDaniel

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!

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