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rgb - cmyk matching!

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by matto, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. matto

    matto New Member

    Hello All,

    Made a rookie mistake of designing a business card in RGB although I really liked how the colours looked ect. After it was all completed I realised it was of course the wrong profile colour. I started redesigning it in CMYK but a few of the things I used to get to the correct colour (i.e overlay blending mode on a fill layer) did not produce the same results in CMYK. I decided to copy the merged layers and paste into a CMYK blank canvas and everything looked great, so sent it off to get printed and I now have 1,000 ugly business cards that will never leave my office. :icon_yucky:

    Using the Photoshop convert to colour profile I get a similarly disappointing result, rather then spending a long time trying to get the exact result I want, is there an easier way to colour match perfectly the RGB colours for a CMYK design?

    Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  2. squeezee

    squeezee Member

    RGB has a larger colour gamut than CMYK, you may find that those colours do not exist in CMYK. You could try a Pantone ink match? PS will highlight out-of-gamut colours.
  3. sthomas

    sthomas Member

    Rule #1:
    You need to get yourself a Pantone swatch book and only ever create print work in CMYK.

    Otherwise, you're going to waste a lot of effort and money creating artwork that doesn't look the same as what you are viewing on screen.
  4. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    I was once asked to litho print some cards that had a luminous green pantone when we sent down separations. So we printed them in the pantones (as they had separated) and the plonker had wanted it printed CMYK. Totally different look.

    Ink and light (CMYK & RGB) are different!
  5. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    and a totally different price I'd imagine. lol
  6. jungledrum

    jungledrum Member

    this! stroll on
  7. garywaiman

    garywaiman Member

    A budget option would be to google a CMYK colour chart with codes (won't be the full range of colours obviously) then scan for colours SIMILAR to what you are looking for then (ensuring that you are using CMYK profile of course) print out a few slight deviations of the same colour and match it on paper. Useful if you are not a fully-fledged graphic designer and can't afford a swatch book as yet.
  8. Hi Matto,

    As tends to be the case with colour management the net throws up a mixture of good and bad advice. Lots of people develop routes to satisfactory results without getting to grips with the underlying principles of Colour Management - which are far more straightforward than you might think.

    I take it that you're judging your RGB colours on a calibrated monitor?

    It is not true to say that RGB is bigger than CMYK. It is true to say that most RGB colour spaces are bigger than most CMYK colour spaces. There are colours I can print that you cannot display on most monitors. There are colours you can display on most monitors that I can't print.

    To take it further - if you're using AdobeCS's default settings there are many colours that most printers can print, that you can't specify in your CMYK files. (This is because many printers now days setup to FOGRA39 standards, whilst CS still ships with US Web Coated SWOP as the standard CMYK space. SWOP is smaller than FOGRA39. To put it another way - 100% Cyan in SWOP might only be 92% Cyan in FOGRA - you can't specify colours outside the space you're working in.)

    Pantone's are helpful for communicating the requirement, but not for ensuring you get what you want, because a printer that can't accurately reproduce a colour managed file can't accurately produce a pantone. And seriously - no-one should be wasting time and money on hard copy proofs on small jobs given everyone has superb soft proofing facilities built into the software they're already using!

    Think of the process in two halves - the Input and the Output. You as the designer control the input, the printer the output. If you can't communicate accurate colour it doesn't matter how good the Output side is. If the printer can't produce accurate Output, it doesn't matter how good the Input side is.

    So - communicate. If you really want accurate colour, get the output profile for the media/ink/press combination you'll be outputting to. Softproof with that to see what you'll get. If you're not using the artwork for any other purpose, you could even produce the art in the output space. If your printer does not understand "output profile" or "colour space" find another printer!

    If colour spaces confuse you grab Bruce Fraser's Real World Colour Management from Amazon. Once it clicks and you are always communicating accurate colour, you'll never tolerate inaccurate output again!

    This might be useful: The first lesson from the IPA's Colour Management Training Course is available for free as a demo. The link is here. CMP - Fundamentals Course Outline | Hudson

    Hope that's helpful.

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