Four colour process printing is a system in which the coloured image is separated into 4 different colour values by using filters and screens.
To reproduce images, mostly all printers and some inkjet printers use this process. In a simple language, the 4 coloured inks are placed on the paper in layers of dots, which combine to form many more colours.
Example- Open today’s newspaper. Minutely observe the coloured images. You will see that the images are made from coloured pixels. There are essentially only four colours, but collectively they form a wide spectrum of colours. This is the perfect example of this process.
What are the four colours in colour process?
Four colours or CMYK as they are commonly known, are the subtractive primaries plus black.
K= black, the key
When combined, these four colours can produce any colour imaginable, with their hues and gradients. Although they are more expensive than spot printing, this process is best suited when the client requires sharp and clear illustrations and images.
How is CMYK different from RGB?
RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. There is never a ‘better’ answer as both processes are unique and suited for different kinds of results. A computer monitor mixes shades of green, red and blue to create coloured pictures. However, a printer works on the CMYK model. As a result of which, many times the colours which appear on the computer screen do not match the printed colours 100%.
This slight variation in colours can be attributed to the two different processes the computers and printers use. the colour process should be much more in stable value to obtain a specific type of print.
To ensure that the monitor colours and printed colours match, it is strongly advised to turn the RGB image into a CMYK image before printing. This way one can get a fair idea as to how the printed image will look and can adjust the colours accordingly.
Features of CMYK printing process
- Uses the same 4 standard base colours entirely
- Small dots of CMYK are printed at different angles to produce the coloured image
- Most common and cost-effective for mass printing
Why choose a colour?
No matter which colour process you choose- the cheaper spot printing process or the more expensive but cost-effective mass printing CMYK printing process, coloured images grab more attention than the black and white ones. Studies have shown that a massive 40% increase in readership was witnessed when publications switched to coloured versions.