It’s Not Always Black and White: An Explanation of 4-Color Printing

Posted June 15th, 2010 by in Marketing

The 4-color print process is exactly what its name entails: there are four colors used in the process. More commonly referred to as CMYK-printing, this type of printing uses colors including cyan, magenta, yellow and key black. The process involves the initial separation of four colors and the eventual combination of the four different colored images on a printing press.

You may find that the 4-color printing process is significantly more beneficial for your product if you are interested in having access to a vast color spectrum. Since this particular process offers four colors, the different types of color combinations are endless.  With the 2-color process, your color choices remain minimal due to the fact that typically only black and one other color can be used.

Accuracy is another benefit that comes with the 4-color print process. If the press is used correctly and print files are accurate, this almost guarantees that your finished product will be exactly like the initial drafted concept. Graphics are necessary for a printed product instead of just words. The 4-color printing process makes the use of graphics more flexible and gives you better detail on the final product than other processes

In the past, photographers had to separate colors with colored filters for their pictures when printing. Now, there are desktop publishing systems that offer the capability to separate colors like Adobe Creative Suite. It’s easier now more than ever with today’s technology to create great looking, quality printed pieces for a fraction of the cost compared to the past.

For more information on the print process, visit

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