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CMYK Color Process

In grade school, you were told that the primary colors from which all other colors originate are red, green, and blue (RGB). So why do printers use cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink (CMYK)?

CMYK is the most commonly used offset and digital color printing process. This is referred to as a 4 color printing process, and it can produce over 16,000 different color combinations. Due to lighting on computer screens, the RGB model used on them doesn’t convert well onto printed material. The lighter CMY colors on printed material will more accurately depict the RGB colors on the computer screen, and the key color (black) can create darker shades.


CMYK - O'Neil Printing


Adding more ink colors will make your print more vibrant and sleek. For higher quality print projects, printers will use a 6, 8, or higher number process with additional colors, such as orange and green. This helps accurately produce brand colors for things like company logos. If you have a print project that calls for extreme color accuracy, a process with more ink options will yield the best results to ensure that the color is matched closely.

The best way to have a print project turn out with your intended color accuracy to is to devote time to preparation. Most printers will convert the colors from the RGB model on the computer to the CMYK model for you, but if you take the extra steps to communicate and work with your printer, you will have a closer color match. This will save you time from improvising and potentially having to go through numerous rounds of proofing. Research, plan, and communicate with your printer for the best results the first time.


CMYK - O'Neil Printing


There’s no better feeling when finishing a print project than when it turns out looking exactly how you intended it to, and the colors are matched correctly. If you would find it helpful to be educated on our print process prior to starting your next project, we would be happy to assist! Our goal is to provide all the knowledge you need so that you are proud of your print project and your audience is impressed.

Thank you and your whole team for bringing the book to life in such a STUNNING and beautiful final form. You have been fantastic partners and we are somehow even more excited than before about getting this out into the community. We appreciate your help in navigating supply chain shortages, last-minute changes, and most importantly building this gorgeous (from cover-to-cover) piece in a way that elevates our brand and honors the donors and grantees who trusted us to tell their stories.

After such a challenging year and a half, this is everything we imagined and wanted it to be. Our best yet!

Jennifer Foley, Director, Strategic Communications, Arizona Community Foundation

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Tuft & Needle

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Thank you so very much for the beautiful book O’Neil Printing delivered, A Fly Rod With a Soul, to my client Per Brandin.

From the very beginning I felt your commitment to our project and was grateful for your attention to detail. I appreciated how your staff was always on top of any issue by answering questions and finding solutions.  It was a pleasure to work with such a kind-hearted group of people.  Thank you for leading that way.

Deborah Davis Design

I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the service I got working with O’Neil. They were completely transparent and helpful throughout the entire printing process, and explained any nuances or questions that came up.

Adrian Mendez, Designer

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We needed a printer who could assure a high-quality product and provide solutions to our questions when we wanted to try new printing methods. O’Neil does just that and more. They have become a trusted partner in our business.

Brian MacDonald, Wonderkind Studios

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