Graphic explanation of the difference between RGB and CMYK

Graphic explanation of the difference between RGB and CMYK

Regarding the difference between rgb and cmyk, we have thought of a better method for everyone to understand. Below is an explanation legend drawn.


The color displayed by the digital screen display is the color perceived by the human eye after the light emitted by the light source is directly irradiated by the human eye. The superposition of the three primary colors of RGB produces brighter light, which is an additive color method, and the more superimposed, the brighter.

RGB is the "+" mode,

RGB are photosynthetic colors, and colors are mixed based on light. Black is the blank state of various colors, which is equivalent to a piece of white paper without any color. At this time, if you want to produce color, it is necessary to increase the light of various colors to produce it. When all kinds of colors are added to the maximum value, white is formed.

rgb light directly into eyes

                                                                                                                                       RGB light directly into eyes

The color of the printed matter is the reflection of ambient light on the paper surface to the human eye. CMYK is a subtractive color method, the more you stack, the darker you get. The printing adopts the four-color mode of three primary colors and black to realize full-color printing.


CMYK is "-" mode,

For printing, the process is just the opposite. White paper is the stage for colors, and the carrier of colors is no longer light, but various types of ink. At the beginning of printing, the white paper itself has reached the maximum value of color. At this time, if the color is to be displayed, it is necessary to cover the white with ink. When the ink becomes thicker and thicker, the white is covered more and more completely. When the three colors of CMY cover the paper surface, the displayed color is black, that is, the state of completely losing all colors.

cmyk light reflected to the eye

                                                                                                                                       CMYK  light reflected to the eye

The RGB color gamut is wider, and the CMYK color gamut is limited compared to the RGB color gamut, so there are some cases where the colors in RGB cannot be displayed during printing. The colors that are not included in the CMYK color gamut will be lost during printing, so there is a "color difference". 

attention color can not printed

                                                                                   When a warning symbol appears, indicating that this color cannot be printed for display 

If the original purpose is to print, then CMYK mode can also be used directly when creating. But sometimes, if some operations need to be operated in RGB mode, or if the work has been completed in RGB mode, when the final printing is to be done, it is finally necessary to convert the RGB mode to CMYK mode, and for the works that do not meet the color matching requirements Colors are adjusted before printing.

For example, the colors in RGB will be very bright, and when converted to CMYK, the colors will become dull.

rgb green

                                                                                       SAME GREEN (RGB)

cmyk green

                           SAME GREEN (CMYK)

The generation of this color difference needs to actively communicate and explain with the customer when the customer sends the document to us, so as to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding.

Post time: Nov-15-2022