CMYK or RGB for laser/inkjet printers?

Participant ,
Jan 23, 2021

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Hi!

I’m wondering: what color mode should be used for vector artwork that is intended for laser printers or inkjet printers, since those are RGB devices.

Should the Illustrator document be set in CMYK or RGB?

Thank you!

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2 Correct Answers

Mentor , Jan 23, 2021
jdanek Mentor , Jan 23, 2021
"intended for laser printers or inkjet printers, since those are RGB devices." They are?  You won't find they have 3 color cartridges 1.) R, 1.) G, 1.) B.  Terminology may be a bit off.  When you work in a "closed loop" and your output device is a "photographic" RGB printer ( Canon, HP, Epson ), then you can send an RGB file to it ( may be advantageous in type of color you are expecting ).  Most printers can output CMYK, some better than others ( photographic vs. proofers ).  You fail to mention...

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Adobe Community Professional , Jan 23, 2021
Ton Frederiks Adobe Community Professional , Jan 23, 2021
Inkjet printers are generally capable to reproduce more colors than CMYK printing presses. So I would suggest to create your artwork in an RGB document.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021

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Inkjet printers are generally capable to reproduce more colors than CMYK printing presses.

So I would suggest to create your artwork in an RGB document.

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Participant ,
Jan 23, 2021

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Thanks!

And what if the Illustrator document is going to be imported in InDesign afterwards (for additional design work) to finally be exported as a PDF in order to be printed on a laser printer?

 

What would be the recommended color modes and export settings for each step?

 

Thanks again!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021

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Just keep it RGB all the way.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021

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Once you convert to CMYK, there is no way to get the original bright RGB colors back.

Try from time to time to use the Proof Colors option with the color profile of your printer to see what you can expect.

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Participant ,
Jan 23, 2021

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Thanks again!

 

So the Illustrator document should be created using the "Art & Illustration" preset in order to get the RGB color mode.

 

But what preset should the InDesign document use? "Print" uses the CMYK color mode, and the "Web" and the "Mobile" presets use the RGB color mode. I guess it should be one of those?

 

And on export: I guess the "High Quality Print" should be used when creating the PDF, since this setting creates a PDF file that produces optimized results when printing on a desktop output device?

Thanks AGAIN!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021

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A PDF for print should usually be a PDF/X

You need to discuss the matter with your print service provider.

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Participant ,
Jan 23, 2021

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For CMYK printing presses, indeed. But I'm referring to laser/inkjet printers specifically.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021

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InDesign does not care if you mix RGB and CMYK in a document, so Print should be OK.

High Quality Print is the right PDF preset for inkjet printers, it does not convert  your colors and the conversion will take place during printing.

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Participant ,
Jan 23, 2021

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Excellent! Thank you!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 23, 2021

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If there are fine black lines and fine text in your document, then check with the print service bureau if RGB black will be an issue. It depends on their processes and machines whether it is.

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Mentor ,
Jan 23, 2021

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"intended for laser printers or inkjet printers, since those are RGB devices."

 

They are?  You won't find they have 3 color cartridges 1.) R, 1.) G, 1.) B.  Terminology may be a bit off.  When you work in a "closed loop" and your output device is a "photographic" RGB printer ( Canon, HP, Epson ), then you can send an RGB file to it ( may be advantageous in type of color you are expecting ).  Most printers can output CMYK, some better than others ( photographic vs. proofers ).  You fail to mention anything about your file other than it is vector.  So, without knowing more, it is a little difficult to reconnend anything specific.  Monika mentions Black output, which could be a concern.  So, in short, it depends on the final output device and the file itself.

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Participant ,
Jan 24, 2021

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Inkjet printers use cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks (plus additional inks to extend gamut and detail), which in theory at least makes them CMYK devices. But in practice, unless you're printing through a PostScript raster image processor (RIP), desktop inkjet printer drivers are built to receive only RGB data.

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jdanek LATEST
Mentor ,
Jan 24, 2021

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Not really. I have an HP plain Jane office printer that, through its driver which is GL5, does a decent job printing CMYK. So, it depends, too, on the driver, which does not have to be a RIP.

Sent from my iPhone

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