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Using Color in Print - RGB vs. CMYK

Color Settings

Your artwork can be either CMYK or RGB. We do encourage converting artwork assets to CMYK color mode when designing artwork for your order. This allows you to "soft-proof" your images on screen and see how the colors will look.

If you supply your images in RGB, they will be converted to CMYK for print. RGB colors may appear dull or desaturated when printed (and we're sure you don't want that!).

We've written a more in-depth explanation about the differences between RGB and CMYK below.


RGB vs CMYK - Which is better for print?

Printing is done using CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK) inks, so if you supply your images in RGB (Red, Green, Blue) they will be converted to CMYK.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue) mode creates color by combining different colors of light. If you look very closely at a TV or computer monitor, every image is made of dots of Red, Green, and Blue lights. If you are creating an image to be displayed on a computer, TV, or lighted sign, RGB mode would be ideal for specifying your colors.

Alternatively, printing is done by combining Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK inks to produce the colors you see. These inks on a corrugated or paperboard surface don't have the intensity of a light source and are made of different combinations of colors. 

RGB colors can appear dull or less saturated when converted and printed in CMYK. In some cases there is not an equivalent of an RGB color as CMYK, so color shifting can occur. This is why we strongly recommend that you provide your artwork as CMYK. If you do any needed conversions yourself, you can then adjust the colors after conversion to appear much closer to your desired result.

Some software programs, such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Acrobat have built-in functionality to better represent CMYK colors on computer monitors. If you have one of these software programs installed on your computer, it can help you convert and preview the artwork with better accuracy.

You can also use our online design tool to determine the CMYK color code for your desired color. For example. the color code for the color on this box's front panel is: C 100, M 0, Y 35, K 31. 

While we are unable to guarantee color matching, the vast majority of our customers are pleased with the final appearance of color on their printed boxes.


Does Packlane offer color matching?

Packlane does not offer color matching services at this time, and cannot guarantee the consistency of colors between multiple orders, or between the website display and resulting print. 

Additionally, differences between RGB (Red, Green, Blue) and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK) files can cause significant differences in how color appears. Printing is done using CMYK inks, so if you supply your images in RGB they will be automatically converted to CMYK. RGB colors may appear duller or desaturated when printed (and we’re sure you don’t want that).

While we are unable to guarantee color matching, the vast majority of our customers are pleased with the final appearance of color on their printed boxes.

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