Color Mode: RGB vs CMYK

As a giclée printer, I often see confusion about color mode.   For this discussion I will focus on RGB and CMYK, although there are other color modes with different functions and uses.

RGB (red, green and blue) refers to the additive or “light” color process.  When these three colors of light are combined; white light results. The absence of these colors of light appears as black. This is the idea behind display devices, like your TV or Computer Monitor.

CMYK (cyan, magenta, and yellow) are subtractive colors. These colors reflect light back. Theoretically when combined the three colors should produce black. Because the resulting color is not a “pure” black, printers add black (K) to the combination resulting in CMYK.

RGB refers to light (additive) while CMYK refers to pigment, inks or paint (subtractive). Because all printers, be it inkjet, laser, or offset use the subtractive process to produce color it seems reasonable that when creating files for printing one would work in the CMYK mode. This is true for traditional color printing often called offset or 4-color process. The technology behind this printing process is to create 4 separate printing plates. Each plate was originally created by photographing the image to be printed four times using a filter for each color.  The resulting separations representing red, green and blue were then reversed to create the negatives for its color opposite.  For example red is opposite cyan on the color wheel, because cyan is the result of mixing blue and green light and the absence of red light.

Although the inkjet printers and devices that are used today by many professional printers use pigmented inks that are CMYK or variations of CMYK, the file mode format should be RGB.  This is because the files are converted by the print driver or RIP (raster image processor, fancy name for print drivers), into CMYK.  If the files are not in the RGB mode, this process still happens but sometimes with unwanted results because CMYK has a smaller color gamut.

So should you produce files in RGB mode or CMYK mode? The answer is it depends. If your files will be sent to a printer who uses an offset or 4-color process press then you should convert your files to CMYK.  If your printer uses a digital process and prints on an inkjet printer, you should keep your files in RGB mode. If you are unsure what process your printer uses, ask.  If you want the best possible color for your image, be aware of how it will be produced.

 

After the Storm Photo Show

Western Mass Tornado Photo Show Fund Raiser

So many incredible photos have been taken of this devastating event. Many photographers have felt the need to record and preserve the images of the profound change that has happened in our region. Giclée of New England, Inc Gallery will be sponsoring a Photo Show as a fund raiser for the victims of the June 1 tornado. We would also like to see before and after photos in this show. Photos of rebuilding and clean-up efforts will be welcome as well as those that document the massive destruction.

There is a $10 donation fee  for two images. You can enter as many times as you like. We will find space to hang all entries. All entry fees will be donated to the Disaster Fund at the Monson Savings Bank. Giclée of New England, Inc. will offer printing, framing or mounting of photos for this show at deeply discounted rates.  Videos can also be entered for showing.

There will be awards (prizes if we can get donations) for :

  • Before & After
  • People
  • Rebuilding
  • Clean-up
  • The Worst thing I saw
  • The Best thing I saw
This Gallery Showing will be from July 9 through August 31.  Opening reception July 9, 2-5pm, and refreshments will be served.  Click here for show application in PDF form.  A 20% commission will be added to works for sale to be donated to the Tornado Fund.

 

Have you been counted?

Have you signed up to be counted in NEFA’s CultureCount? NEFA (New England Foundation for the Arts) is a enormous resource for anyone in the arts in New England.  If you are an artist, run a creative business or represent a cultural nonprofit you should be counted. Click here to find out why you should be listed.  http://www.culturecount.org/public/whycreate.aspx

CultureCount is a free creative economy database.  CultureCount is a centralized source of descriptive, financial, demographic, and geographic information about cultural nonprofits, businesses, and professionals in New England.

CultureCount provides a comprehensive representation of the creative economy of New England that supports the advocacy, fundraising, cultural analysis, and policy development efforts of artists, cultural organizations, researchers, and policy makers. CultureCount users can log on to discover cultural organizations, explore their communities, and analyze economic impact.

It is important to our regional economy that those of us who are working in the Creative Economy be counted. If you are not sure if you or your business would be identified as part of the creative economy click on this link to see if you fit the definition http://www.nefa.org/sites/default/files/ResearchCreativeEconRptHighlihghts.pdf.