The Difference Between RGB and CMYK Color Modes and Why CMYK Is Better for Printed Designs

Stitch It International
Monday, January 18, 2021

By Kyle Steinmann, OKI Printer Support

Many people are unaware that RGB & CMYK are two color modes that are quite different ways of representing colors. For the average person, the difference is irrelevant. However, when it comes to printing accurate color (especially for printing designs to transfer onto apparel or other types of items), it becomes especially important to know the difference.

RGB is primarily used in monitors, television screens, cameras, and scanners. These colors are made up of Red, Green, and Blue light that are mixed to reproduce an image. CMYK is primarily used in pigments such as ink or toner to create images in print. In a nutshell, these two types of color modes are used either for digital images or print media.

The combination of Red, Blue, and Green light creates white. In contrast, the mixture of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow pigments creates black. Due to this contrast, it is impossible for your CMYK printer to perfectly reproduce the colors on your RGB monitor. Colors that are created in RGB will typically print darker due to this contrast.

Taking this into consideration, it is best to create your artwork with CMYK which will give you the most control of your finished print, while at the same time keeping in mind that your colors on your monitor are still in RGB and not CMYK.

So now you have a little more knowledge as to why the CMYK color mode is used for our white toner printers, giving the best results to your transferrable design and ultimately your finished product.

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