CMYK – Refers to the four process colors – cyan, magenta, yellow and black-used in 4-color printing. CMYK is used for digital printing (sublimation is a digital CMYK process which uses heat to transfer dye onto a medium such as a plastic card, paper, or fabric.) CMYK is blended by the printing device during application. This process is in contrast to spot color printing where each color is applied separately. The four inks used in 4-color process printing are:

Cyan is a light-blue color.

Magenta is a pinkish purple color.


Key Black

Four color process printing wasn’t common and it was very expensive. More suppliers are offering it on more products and the price is much more reasonable. It wasn’t so long ago that it was only available on paper products. One color imprints continue to be the most economical option for most items. It is best for photographic images.

Currently there are several promotional product suppliers using 4 color process on key tags and other plastic products. Table covers are availabe with 4 color process but the prices continue to be more than a one color screen print.

RGB – The colors (red, green, blue) used to create images on a PC monitor or TV screen. Sometimes there is a challenge to change these colors to print using cyan, magenta, yellow and black as they are two distinct color formats. When working with the original or appropriate program, the switch is simplified.