RGB vs CMYK… what’s the difference? The color mode on graphics makes a huge difference depending on what you are using them for and where the colors are being applied.

RGB is an additive color which is created with light. Red, Green and Blue lights are applied to a black base (no light) to create color. When all colors are added together you get white. The uses of RGB are for mobile applications, social media, website graphics, video. Everything viewed on a screen or monitor are displayed in RGB color mode. RGB graphics are downloaded faster for viewing and can be printed on an inkjet printer. The resolution is typically 72 ppi (pixels per inch). The file formats that best support RGB color mode are JPG, GIF, PNG, PSD and PDF.

CMYK is subtractive color and is created with ink. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black) are applied to a white base to create color. When all colors are added together you get black. The uses of CMYK are for billboards, branded product, logo/brand, printed material. Everything printed by a commercial printer or color laser printer are printed as CMYK color mode. CMYK graphics are going to be larger files as they are meant to be used for print on some type of paper or other tangible media. It provides crisp colors for quality print formats and offset printing helping keep the costs of printing low. The resolution is typically 300 dpi (dots per inch). The file formats that best support CMYK color mode are AI, EPS, TIFF, PSD and PDF.

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