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Why The Ink of UV Printer Is CMYK Four Primary Colors

Apr. 25, 2022

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Since you do not have a deep understanding of UV printers, you do not know the collocation of CMYK's four primary colors of UV printers, especially if you are familiar with traditional printing methods such as silk printing and offset printing. You will also raise the question of why the display screen has three primary colors and why UV inks are four primary colors.


Theoretically speaking, UV printers only need three primary colors, namely cyan (C)magenta (M), and yellow (Y) for color printing, which can be combined into the largest color gamut, just like the RGB primary colors of the display. However, in the production process of UV ink, due to its composition, the purity of the color will be limited, and the three primary colors of CMY ink can only produce a dark brown close to pure black. So you need to add black (K) when printing to print pure black.

cmyk and rgb

Can 4-Color Process Printing create every Color Imaginably?

No. Sometimes there are certain colors that cannot be reproduced exactly using the 4-Color Process method. In this case, PMS colors (also known as Spot colors or Pantone Matching System colors) are used to create a particular color. PMS colors are specific color formulas that will reproduce accurately in print. Instead of simulating colors by layering multiple UV ink colors with the CMYK 4-Color Process, PMS ink colors are pre-mixed from existing color formulas and assigned a standardized number

PMS colors are often used in conjunction with the four CMYK process colors on certain projects. These are referred to as 5-color or 6-color projects because they use the four CMYK colors plus one or two PMS colors (or more) for certain elements of the design, such as a corporate logo. PMS colors generally involve an upcharge, so they are usually reserved for projects that require a specific color (or colors) that cannot be reproduced accurately by layering the four CMYK colors.

Only a small percentage of full-color projects necessitate the addition of PMS colors because most graphic designers refer to a Pantone Process Book and then use the process color formula that is closest to the desired PMS Spot color. So if you intend to print the entire piece using CMYK 4-color process, it is important that you don't designate PMS Spot colors in your artwork design. Otherwise, when your PMS Spot color is converted to a CMYK process color to create printed output, it could yield a result you weren't anticipating. If in doubt, always consult with your printer before getting too deep into your project.

Also, don't use RGB Colors for Commercially Printed Output…

RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. The colors you see on your computer monitor are created from RGB colors, as are the colors produced by digital cameras, scanners, and most desktop printers. RGB and CMYK are completely different color modes, so don't submit RGB artwork files if you intend to print your project using CMYK 4-color process.

If you submit RGB files, they will need to be converted to CMYK prior to printing. This could become an issue because many RGB colors cannot be duplicated accurately using the CMYK process. So, there will be some variance between the RGB colors that are generated by your computer monitor (or desktop printer) and the CMYK colors on the finished printed pieces.

For example, an RGB color that looked bright on your monitor may turn into a subdued color when your document is printed in CMYK. Additionally, the hues might be vastly different. Thus, it is important that you always set up your artwork file(s) in CMYK and consult a Pantone Process book to see how the colors will appear as printed output. This will help prevent any unexpected results.

four primary colors

Why UV Printing Uses the CMYK Model

Therefore, UV printers that use UV ink as printing consumables must add a black color on the basis of the theory of three primary colors. This is the reason why UV printing uses the CMYK model. In the UV printing industry, it is also called four-color. In addition, the six colors often heard in the market are the addition of Lc and Lm to the CMYK model. The addition of these two light-colored UV inks is to meet those scenes that have higher requirements for the color of the printed pattern, such as advertising display materials. . The six-color model can make the printed patterns fuller, more natural in transition, and more layered.

In addition, with the market's increasing requirements for the speed and printing effect of UV printers, some manufacturers have also introduced more color configurations. Get some spot colors in addition to the six colors, but these are also inseparable. The principle is the same as the four-color and six-color models.

As a UV printing company, we provide various types of UV printers and various colors of UV ink. Please feel free to contact us if you need them.

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