What is CMYK 4-color process printing?


CMYK printing, also known as ‘Process Color Printing,’ is an industry standard method of printing in full color. CMYK actually stands for the four colors used as part of this printing standard. C is Cyan, M is Magenta, Y is Yellow, and K is for ‘Key,’ which is the description that printers use for Black ink.

CMYK printing can reproduce most color photographs very well. In traditional printing, a full color photograph is scanned and then run through software to create ‘color separations.’ Once the separations are processed, and ‘plates’ are made for each of the CMYK colors, the printer runs the ink through the plates on press, and the result is your full color image printed on paper.