RGB vs CMYK: 2 Best Color Models for Packaging Designs

RGB vs CMYK: 2 Best Color Models for Packaging Designs
Stampa Prints

The number of decisions that go into designing for print can be overwhelming, but it is essential to consider everything in order to make the best decision. A printing company is an integral part of any design, and you need a good one if your project has color.

Color modes are important when designing for the web. But people do not really worry about them as colors look similar on different monitors. However, it is not right to assume that your design will print well if you only create and see what looks good on screen.

One of the most common questions that designers have when they are designing is which color model is used in printed designs? The answer to this question can be difficult, but it is important for you to make a good design.

If your goal is to create something colorful and bright for your custom boxes, using CMYK would be best. On the other hand, RGB will give your designs more contrast than if you were just working with CMYK alone!

What is the RGB Color Model Used For?


The RGB color model is based on three colors: red, green, and blue. These three colors are used to create every other color imaginable as additive colors. Basically, this means that the RGB model generates new hues by adding varying quantities of these base shades together.

When it comes to creating a color, the easiest way is by adding two primary colors together. For instance, if you wanted yellow, you will mix green and red.

Similarly, light blue could be created by blending green and blue. With modern printers or computer monitors capable of displaying varying levels of these primaries in different proportions, there is no need for guesswork when creating your desired hue.

RGB Colors Applications

With the advent of computer monitors, CRT televisions, and LCD, LED TV's now have a multitude of different color modes. RGB is one such model that provides for high-quality digital imaging in many display applications.

This rich color depth makes it an ideal choice when creating images or designing graphics, especially on larger screens like those found at trade shows with multimedia presentations where crisp colors are critically important to audience engagement.

One of the best things about RGB is that you can use all three primary colors in equal amounts to achieve any color imaginably. This means it is a great mode for those who want an accurate and wide range of colors.

The CMYK Color Mode


CMYK is a subtractive color scheme, which means that it uses colors like cyan, magenta, yellow, and key black. CMYK differs from RGB as the former does not use additive colors but instead relies on the subtraction of some parts to create other shades.

The main distinction between RGB and CMYK is that when you combine all the colors of the RGB model, it creates white. When combining the other three hues in varying amounts for each ink type (cyan, magenta, and yellow) with black oil-based paint to make darker color combinations.

More colors mixed together means darker tones are created instead of lighter ones since these four-color mixing modes work differently by subtracting instead of adding colors, such as paints do.

CMYK: Best for Darker Shades

When color printing, colors are made by combining different ink types. The CMYK process is used because it uses the colors that we can see in nature to create beautiful tones and other hues.

CMYK is a color model that is mostly used for professional printing these days, namely product packaging. But if you are looking to get something printed professionally, it might be best to know about CMYK so your print will look its best and, of course, have the right color.

What are Common Mistakes Between Both?

It is the small things that matter. So often, clients make mistakes in their printing projects because they forget about one of those little differences between colors on paper: RGB and CMYK.

Photoshop is mainly used for website design, image editing, and various other forms of media. This often means that RGB (the default color model) is being utilized instead of CMYK, which is usually reserved for print projects or works in the graphic arts and packaging industry.

Printed Version is Often Different

Designers need to be mindful of how the colors they use will translate to print, as CMYK printing processes can alter them in ways that make it hard for viewers on any screen. For example, a vibrant green might look duller when printed because some colors are inherently better suited for your average printer than others.

One of the most noticeable differences between both modes is how each presents its own version of the same color. You can two images illustrating contrasting versions for what seems like just one color. The main reason behind this might come from their respective additive/subtractive nature.

Often a color will look more vivid when printed with RGB model as compared to its competitor. It is a major distinction between these two printing models.

RGB or CMYK: What Color Model Is Used in Printed Designs?

When designing for print, the CMYK color mode is often more appropriate than RGB. This means that your design will need to be converted from an otherwise digital medium. This conversion process has its challenges, such as considerations of paper color for branded boxes or ink bleed.

It would be best to try to design with RGB first, but convert your work near the end. This way, you can use all of the available colors and have more creative freedom before printing it off.

Using the CMYK color mode will make your design look more professional by creating a great range of colors. If you have an artistic project that is mostly greyscale, it might be worth considering using CMYK because RGB does not necessarily create as many shades.

How to Achieve Color Accuracy?

Needless to say, converting colors can be difficult. But it is not impossible with the right tools and know-how at hand. Converting colors between RGB and CMYK are just as simple as constructing a color wheel in Photoshop or Illustrator, depending on what you are using.

For instance, you will be amazed at how your green color can transform when you simply tweak a few shades. Take note of this quick fix if ever there is an issue with the greens in one of your photos.

The Best Software for Printing & Designing


Adobe Photoshop:

The Adobe Photoshop software is used by many designers in the industry and has a number of color modes for both web design purposes as well as to preview how your work will print.

The software can convert from RGB or CMYK formats with ease so that you are sure your designs look their best no matter what process they will be printed on.

Photoshop is a powerful and versatile tool for any type of design, creating images in raster format. It is not uncommon to find people who are new or do not have much experience using Photoshop, but it does not take long before they are creating eye-catching designs.

Adobe Illustrator:

Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based graphics editor that provides an excellent alternative when designing for print. With this type of design, images scale better, which makes them perfect for use on billboards because they will not end up pixelated like raster images often do.

The Adobe Illustrator seems to be perfect for the designer that just wants a clean, professional design. The default of CMYK makes it easy and convenient because any designs created in this application will work seamlessly with professional printers.

In the end, Adobe Photoshop is the go-to application for digital media, while Illustrator, being primarily a tool of printed design and graphics, can be seen as more advanced.

The choice between which to use really comes down to one's own preference for genre or desired audience.

The Final Thought

With the advent of modern printing methods, designing for print is becoming a much simpler process. In order to ensure your designs look as good in print format as they do on-screen, you must be aware of some key differences between RGB and CMYK processing.

You need to remember that your RGB color mode designs should be converted into CMYK before you send them off for printing. You may also want to color correct it manually by adjusting CMYK variations of colors.

Whether you design in CMYK or RGB, Adobe Illustrator is the best option for designing and printing your work.

It is always a good idea to run your designs by the printing company before committing. This can save you time and money, as most companies are willing to give advice for free.


The CMYK Printing Process: A Guide to the Fascinating Industry of Color

Spot Color vs CMYK for Packaging

6 Best Packaging Design Ideas That Retailers Can Incorporate

Write Your Thoughts