A common question asked by customers prepping their files for printing in our Display Graphics division: “Should I send you the files in RGB or CMYK?” When we respond RGB, many people are confused since several of our machines print with CMYK inks. The answer to this question, along with best file practices and in-depth technical information for all of Adobe’s CS5 Creative Suite, has been compiled in this reference guide.

The Display Graphics guide was created to help both sides of the counter speak the same language, ensuring the file printed is exactly how it was intended to look.

File and color specs for display graphics

File Spec Tips for Display Graphics

If you are printing to an inkjet printer or other RGB-based device, you will likely achieve the best results by printing from an RGB image. Despite the fact that these devices use inks named cyan, magenta, yellow and black (often with additional colors such as orange, green, light cyan, light magenta, etc.), they are set up to maximize the wider gamut available in RGB images by converting incoming RGB information to appropriate values for the color gamut of the printing device. The colorants in inkjet inks actually allow a wider range of colors than offset inks: Printing from an image in the smaller CMYK color space limits the output. For detailed guidance, consult the user guide and online resources available from the manufacturer of the device.

Thanks to John Nack for posting!