Four-Color Printing Explained

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Anyone intending to send color work to a printer needs to understand the “four-color process,” the means by which their work will be reproduced. These four ink colors are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, and the set is collectively known as “CMYK.” However, in a typical color photo there will be thousands of colors, not four. And even in a single-color image, there are many, many shades.

However, the printer can only use these four colors to reproduce the entire range required by a color photo; and in a black-and-white photo the printer can only use black to create all the apparent shades of gray. Clearly there has to be some technology involved to help things along.

This chapter deals with how the four-color ...

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