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Design Comic Books in CMYK or RGB Color Mode?

Design Comic Books in CMYK or RGB Color Mode?

Understanding the difference between CMYK and RGB can be very important to designing your comic book print files for commercial printing. Litho Ninja’s offset printing press uses a 4-color process and therefore your comic book print files should always be submitted as CMYK, not RGB.

RGB refers to the primary colors of light, Red, Green and Blue, that are used in monitors, television screens, digital cameras and scanners. CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the inks used on the press in "4-color process printing", commonly referred to as "full color printing" or "four color printing".

The combination of RGB light creates white, while the combination of CMYK inks creates black. Therefore, it is physically impossible for the printing press to exactly reproduce colors as we see them on our monitors.

Many design programs have the capability to convert the layout/images from the RGB color space to the CMYK color space. Litto Ninja requests that you convert your colors from RGB to CMYK if your tools allow you to. By doing it yourself, you have maximum control over the results. You may notice a shift in color when converting from RGB to CMYK. If you do not like the appearance in CMYK, we recommend that you make adjustments while working in CMYK.

Four color process printing is a system where a color image is separated into 4 different color values (called a color separation) by the use of filters and screens. This is usually done digitally with software. The result is a color separation of 4 images that when transferred to printing plates and sequentially printed on a printing press with the colored inks cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black (the k in cmyk), reproduces the original color image. Most of the entire spectrum of colors are reproduced with just the four process ink colors. The four color printing process is universally used in the commercial printing industry for the reproduction of color images and text.

CMYK Process Printing Features

  • Uses same 4 standardized base colors all the time (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black)
  • Small dots of these colors are printed at different angles to create the printed image
  • Most widely used and cost effective color system in commercial printing
  • Significantly cheaper than toner based printing for larger quantity runs



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