What Does CMYK Mean

We utilize high quality Heidelberg CMYK printing presses. CMYK is an industry standard printing process that refers to the printing inks used in 4-color process printing:

“C” = Cyan
“M” = Magenta
“Y” = Yellow
“K” = Black

These are the only four colors used to produce full-color photographs and designs. These colors can be combined in various percentages to emulate a wide number of other colors. If you look carefully at a printed color photograph in any magazine or book, you’ll see that it’s made up of rows of tiny dots of each of the four colors called a halftone screen. The dots work together, at different angles, to fool your eye into seeing a full spectrum of colors.

The mixture of ideal CMYK colors is subtractive (cyan, magenta, and yellow printed together on white result in black). CMYK works through light absorption. The colors that are seen are from the part of light that is not absorbed. In CMYK, magenta plus yellow produces red, magenta plus cyan makes blue and cyan plus yellow generates green.

For a graphics file to be printed correctly in a CMYK printing environment, it must be created and printed in that color mode. That is why we require all colors in customer files to be CMYK (i.e., no spot or pantone colors). Pantone colors may not print as expected in a CMYK printing environment. If you send us a RGB file, we will convert it to CMYK. We cannot be responsible for any color shifts that may occur.