In this article, we will explain the reasons for the difference in color between the screen and the printing material, which is one of the mistakes that the ones who do not have a great deal with the printing world make in their first printing works. It is quite natural to make mistakes that will cause this color difference, especially if you are not directly related to graphic design and printing. Let us now examine why these color differences occur and how you can largely eliminate this difference.


Many printing materials use CMYK as the printing method. CMYK is an abbreviation for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key words. In the method that is printed with CMYK, all colors in the design are obtained with a mixture of these colors. RGB is used in the technology of reflecting colors to you on computer screens. RBG stands for Red, Green and Blue. All colors in RGB are obtained by using the light in these colors.

The number and shades of colors that can be obtained due to the differences between these two methods differ. The main difference between the two methods is the inclusion of light in RGB. In CMYK, only paints and pigments are used. For this reason, it is not possible to capture exactly the same color in screen and printing.


CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key

Unlike CMYK color mode in RGB color mode, when you combine all colors in varying amounts, you get the white color (i.e. the purest combination). In CMYK color mode, the more you add the color, the result will be darker and you will get the black color as a result.

CMYK color mode is often used in large printers. RGB printers are generally used in the latest printers in homes and offices. The reason why CMYK color model is used in printing machines where high quantity prints are made is that the cost is much lower compared to printing with RGB. Therefore, when ordering prints from a print shop or online print shop, you should definitely prepare your design by considering the printing method (mostly CMYK).

RGB – Red, Green, Blue

RGB color mode uses red, green and blue colors to create almost any other color you can see. Basically, this means that the RGB color mode creates other colors by combining or adding different amounts of red, green, and blue. For example, if you want to create a yellow color, you just need to combine green and red. If you want to create a light blue color, you add green and blue.

RGB is a color mode often associated with computer monitors and other displays. LCD / LED TVs use RGB color mode. Most cameras and digital scanners also use RGB. The reason RGB is the standard color mode in most applications is because it offers the widest range of colors. By combining the main colors (red, green and blue) in varying amounts, you can get any color you want with great precision. Most photo editing programs use RGB as standard (including Photoshop), so you need to pay much more attention to this issue when designing for printing.

Major Errors in Design for Printing

During our time in the printing industry, we have produced tens of thousands of printed products for thousands of our customers, and one of the most common mistakes we see is designs where the difference between RGB and CMYK is not considered.

Many of our customers are preparing their designs in an application like Photoshop, which uses RGB color mode by default. The reason why RGB color mode is used by default in Photoshop is that Photoshop is used for website design, photo editing and various other media formats that usually end up on the computer screen. Therefore, RGB is the default color mode unless you change it privately in Photoshop.

The main problem here is that if a design prepared using RGB is printed using the CMYK printing method, the colors appear differently (if not properly converted). Our customers can see the colors they see on their screens perfectly differently than after printing. The main reason for this is that the design was not prepared using the correct color scale.

How to Set the Right Colors for Printing?

In some cases, you do not need to convert the colors included in the design from RGB to CMYK for printing, which varies depending on the complexity of your design and the colors you use. But how do you set the color mode for printing? If you are using Photoshop, this process is quite simple. First you need to go to the ‘Image’ menu and select the ‘Mode’ option from there. Then the screen where you can select the color mode will open and you will be able to perform the process from there. Photoshop will show you how the design will look when colors are converted to CMYK. For most designs, probably search for colors