How To Get The Most From Printing With Four-Color Process


The four-color process is one of the most commonly used printing methods in the world today. If you're creating work that will go to a professional shop, it's wise to think about how you can contribute to a successful result. Here are three ways you can help the printing people achieve the top-tier outcome you desire.

Start Your Digital Files in CMYK Mode

The core of nearly all techniques that use for colors is what is known as CMYK. This stands for the four colors of ink used to print the final product. Those are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

Normally, a four-color process applies each color in a distinct layer. Professionals often call these separations, and there is a single separation layer for each color. If you look very closely at a high-quality print product like a glossy magazine color, you can usually see the distinct dots for each color.

Consequently, the smart thing is to move all of your work files for a project into CMYK as early as practicable. For example, you might start with camera RAW files for photographic artwork. You'll want to archive the originals in their initial format and then make copies in CMYK.

Similarly, you'll want to start all of your work in the four-color process. This will ensure that your imported photos and artwork are on the same system as your work files are.

Understand the Limitations

When you see glossy products using a four-color process, you might get the impression that it's a miracle tool. Bear in mind these items come from publishers that know how to produce excellent results within the limitations of the format. They do that because publishing is a for-profit enterprise, and balancing cost-savings with quality is critical. That's the entire economic argument for CMYK.

There are limits to the photographic quality you can achieve. If you want to produce a gallery-quality print, you may need to move up to a process that uses 6 or even 8 colors. You may also be able to use CMYK and additional spot colors for matching a limited palette, but this is something to discuss with the printing company before you start.


All product-grade software should have the ability to use color profiles. These are files that tell computer systems what the colors should look like. Ideally, you want to use the same profile for your monitors, software, and printers. You may need to ask the printing business for copies of their profiles to match your work environment to theirs.

Contact a local printing service to learn more about the four-color process.


26 March 2021

Printing Services for Home Businesses

Starting my own business from home has been a challenging task. Although I'm working from my home, I wanted my business cards, flyers, brochures, and other promotional materials to appear every bit as professional as those you would find at a company located in a large expensive office. My home printer just wasn't up to the task, so instead I found a printing company that offered great deals for small orders like mine. You may think that printing companies are only cost-effective for large businesses with large orders, but there are those out there that cater to the small home businesses as well. I started this blog to discuss the ways that you can make your business stand out with the right printing services and printed products.