Cyan Magenta Yellow Black
Also known as process printing, is a method that reproduces finished full-color artwork and photographs. The four colors used are C-cyan (process blue), M-magenta (process red), Y-process yellow and K-black. These inks are translucent and are used to simulate different colors, for example, green can be created using cyan and yellow. The black ink is used primarily to create fine detail and strong shadows. Artwork and photos are reproduced when the colors in the artwork are separated, then halftoned (converted to dots). Process colors are reproduced by overlapping and printing halftones to simulate a large number of colors. These overlapping dots essentially trick the human eye to see a multitude of different colors.
When to use four color process?
- Reproduction of photographic image
- Achieving a wide variation of gradients tones and tints for special effect printing.
- Printing on white or very light garments when the artwork consists of an image that does not contain colors that need to be exact, and on images where there are not many “memory colors”. We define a “memory color” as a color that we intuitively know when it is wrong. For example, skin tones, the color of the sky and foliage are all such colors that we notice if they are even slightly off.
- Cartoony or fantastic graphics.
- Washed out or distressed full color graphics
- Full Color on a budget where accurate reproduction isn’t as important.
- Heavily processed or saturated images where memory colors have already been tweaked.