11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 30, 2014 7:45 AM by rob day

    RGB/CMYK printing question


      I'm having a real problem here.


      The color that I really like and want to use is #2f2a33 (a very dark purple/blue mix) or C:72% M: 71% Y:55% K:60%

      I printed the test sample with my home printer on normal paper, and from the responses everybody really likes this color.


      However, I would like my business card to be printed in this color or any color very close to it; but from what my business card printing company says is that the values of C:72 and M:71 are a real problem, and that there should be at least a 30% difference between those two to have the printed color turn out well.


      So here I am; working in InDesign with the proof color mode on so I can get a small idea of what the colors might look like when printed, while I'm playing around with that 30% value.


      .. and I can't find a color close enough. It's either too Magenta or too dark. And I want my business cards to be UV coated and I've been told that makes the colors much darker too - with other words, complete chaos in my head. I don't know enough about color printing to know what color to pick in indesign for printing - should I pick something more magenta and will the UV coating make is sufficiently dark? Or should I just have them print the above values and hope for the best?


      This is driving me crazy and I want these cards printed as soon as possible.


      if ANYONE out here could try and help me out, it would really be appreciated.


      Thanks in Advance!

        • 1. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          C:72% M: 71% Y:55% K:60% is the CMYK mix you will get converting #2f2a33 as sRGB to US SWOP Coated—the InDesign defaults. A different CMYK profile will produce a different mix. The accuracy of your ID soft proof  depends on whether you have an accurate monitor profile setup in your OS and if the card printer is in fact printing to the US SWOP standard.


          Having matching Cyan and Magenta values wouldn't cause any problem on press so I'm not sure what the printer is talking about, I don't see how they would know what color you are really looking for.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Also the 55% yellow and 60% Black (that's a lot of black) is going to make it an almost neutral dark gray leaning to violet on almost any press—is that what you are looking for?

            • 3. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
              Rhendera Level 1

              I am looking for a dark purple. I am looking for the exact RGB color in front of my nose on the business card - but I do understand the difference between RGB and CMYK - something I'm holding in my hand can't ever reach the luminosity of my screen. Just want something close to it so the branding stays the same.


              business card.png


              Early mockup in PS - But that's the color I'm looking for.

              • 4. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                I am looking for the exact RGB color in front of my nose

                I would order a small quantity—I doubt you will get exact.


                You can make an similar color with less black, so for SWOP something like 93|93|80|33.

                • 5. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
                  Willi Adelberger Most Valuable Participant

                  Besides the color problem, your printer will have huge problems if the dark background consist of 4 process colours. Problems will occur on the 3 circles and on small letters and on the thinner part of the logo.

                  One problem is that the 4 inks will not fit exactly, the other is the grwoth of the printing dots in the paper.

                  So that leads us to the colour problem. Are you able to use a spot color instead? It will solve your color shift problem and also reduce the other printing problems I have mentioned.

                  • 6. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    I'm going to disagree with Willi here. It's the printer's job to get the plates in register, and the ovals will be no more of an issue than the reversed type. While a spot color will make the reversed type easier, and solve the color match, perhaps, it will require trapping and that's going to wind up being an overprint for all practical purposes with a stroke that narrow.

                    • 7. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
                      TREX Level 2

                      Best thing to do is take the hard copy of your design to your printer and ask for them for a colour proof or/and ask them to see their pantone colour swatch, to see if that have the colour you want, if it is to be a spot colour, they may need to buy it in special or hopefully they will have the expertise in house to mix the ink colour for you. (that's if it is to be printed offset).



                      • 8. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
                        Danny Whitehead. Level 4

                        I'd make it a spot job if at all possible.


                        I agree with Willi here. It's a printer's job to get the best register possible, but it's a designer's job to be aware of such issues when designing for print.

                        • 9. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
                          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Online card printing has become so inexpensive that you can effectively proof via printing. Moo Cards will print 50 for $20—everything I've had printed with them has been in perfect register.

                          • 10. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                            That's at least a three-color spot job, which will cost more than 4-color process, and as I already said trapping the thin lines is a non-starter, so they're going to overprint and just be mud, or you have the same, or worse registration problem trying to get perfect register for the knockout.

                            • 11. Re: RGB/CMYK printing question
                              rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              I think the registration problem will depend on the process.  I never see registration problems from digital presses (not saying  it couldn't happen).


                              So here are 8pt. small caps dropping out of 4-color from Moo Card's digital press. The line screen is a bigger problem than registration—probably 175 here.


                              I would never have dreamt of doing this on a low end business card 10 years ago:


                              Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 10.08.22 AM.png