Fundamentals of Color Printing

While a printed color image may appear to contain thousands of individual colors, it usually consists of just four inks, referred to as process colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). The process inks are transparent, so when they are combined on paper, they produce other colors (Figure 2.4). Thus, cyan plus yellow makes green. Cyan plus magenta make violet. Yellow and magenta make red, and yellow and magenta combined with cyan makes an unattractive muddy brown. That’s still a fairly small box of crayons. How can you make all the colors you need?

Figure 2.4. The four process inks combine to create much more than just four colors.

In traditional offset printing, the illusion of so many colors is the ...

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