Thursday, May 21, 2009

Editing Photos for Print: When to Convert to CMYK?


Thank you for the great comments and suggestions on my posts about printing your own Artist Business Cards on my painting blog. I hope that some of you will be inspired to have cards printed (and I would love to see your results!).

Loredana asked a really great question this week: "When you work on your photos to correct levels or balancing or anything else, do you work on RGB and after you modify it, you switch to CMYK to print?; or you switch to CMYK directly and you modify it later? I noticed a big difference from one to another when I watch the folder's preview and find the CMYK quite uncomfortable to watch!"

The simple answer (with a few extra details):

For Print:

  • Start with RGB, and do all or most of your editing in RGB.
    RGB is the native format for most digital files.
    Some editing procedures are not available in CMYK.

  • Convert to CMYK as the last step only if the file is being sent to a print house.

  • If you are printing from your home or office printer, you can use RGB or CMYK. Try both and see which you prefer.

For Internet images (blogs and websites):

  • Images to be used only for onscreen viewing (websites, blogs) should NEVER be converted to CMYK.

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For a more thorough explanation of CMYK vs. RGB try this link:
http://www.printernational.org/rgb-versus-cmyk.php

(You may want to review the earlier post on File Types, too.)
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4 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot aRt, your answer is clear, simple and made my ideas very much .

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  2. Wow, your blog is a real find! I just added it to my blog list. Thank you for this wonderful service.

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  3. Loredana, You're very welcome!

    Thanks, Myrna! Hope you find the info useful. Questions are welcmome.

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  4. Thanks,the "convert to cymk" was something I wondered about as well.

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