Friday, June 5, 2009

What is the CMYK Process in Printing?

Anyone who has spoken to a printing salesman about a job has probably heard a reference to CMYK or the 4 Color Process. As salesman for Savon Q Print, I am often asked about how the 4 Color Process Works.
The CMYK color system is used in printing inks for paper. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. (K is the printing code for the color Black.)
These 4 colors strategically mixed can create any color that you want. For example, the color Maroon to most people is a standard color. For that color to be used in a print job it must be mixed.
To make Maroon, the formula would be:
C=0%, M-100%,Y=100%,K=50%. That translates to No Cyan, 100% of Magenta, 100% of Yellow and 50% of Black. This formula is used by the press operator to correctly mix the desired color prior inking the press.
Most of the time these colors are mixed by running the paper through the press multiple times, applying a CMYK with each pass.
So next time you read the newspaper or magazine, look really close and at times you will be able to see the CMYK colors and how they are applied.
If if you would like to get costing on a 4 Color Process job, Please contact a Savon Q Print Account Manager at

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