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Colors: Differentiating CMYK vs RGB vs Spot

Here at AlphaGraphics Arvada/Aurora/Denver/Golden we have endless color printing possibilities. Our high-quality equipment allows us to produce small and large runs, back to back, all while achieving precise color profiles for each client. From color concept to final deliverable, AlphaGraphics provides state-of-the-art technology and expertise to help your vision come to fruition.

Colors & Capabilities

It is important to understand colors and how they influence specific print or web jobs. At AlphaGraphics, we provide a large and unique variety of color and printing options.

CMYK vs RGB Colors

CMYK Printing

CMYK: stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black and refers to the pigment of primary colors. Layers of ink are added over pure white, therefore reducing the brightness and creating CMYK. This format is most common for digital printing. During print, paper absorbs light, thus CMYK pigments translate well to paper.

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AlphaGraphics 5280 carries Large Format printers such as the EFI 16h and the HP Latex printer.


EFI – Our flatbed prints CMYK plus white colors on both flexible (clear vinyl, polystyrene) and rigid (coroplast, max-metal) materials in a single pass.

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HP – Latex printing uses cartridges to distribute water-based inks onto a variety of material. We can print everything from custom vinyl banners, posters and canvas to window-perf and clear stickers.

Xerox Iridesse – Digital printers, like our new Iridesse, offers all the bells and whistles of a traditional digital press. In addition to high quality, four-color imagery (CMYK), we can print up to two specialty dry inks in just a single pass. The Xerox Iridesse is the only digital press on the market that can print CMYK plus metallic gold or silver ink, and even clear dry ink! Neat!

This clip showcases the Xerox Iridesse clear ink.

RGB Color

RGB: stands for Red, Green, Blue and refers to the primary colors of light. Beginning with pure black, layers of red, green, and blue light are added on top of one another. The RGB spectrum is used in monitors, television screens, and digital cameras. For example, monitors emit light, thus the full range of RGB can be visible. This blog you are viewing is in the RGB color spectrum!

Spot Color Capabilities

Pantone Colors

Spot Colors: inks used on a press (Offset printing). Specifically mixed to a color matching system known as PMS: Pantone Matching System.

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We have a Heidelberg Quickmaster; an offset press designed for top quality reproduction. It allows us to manage difficult spot color work. Printing with spot color provides accuracy for crucial print elements such as; company logos, business cards and letterheads.

Additionally, this video below highlights the uses of printing with Spot color.

Please visit AlphaGraphics to discuss your color matching and/or print needs!

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Posted by bfabian

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