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cyan, magenta, yellow, key (CMYK)

The CMYK color model is slightly different from the CMY color model. Both are used for subtractive color mixing for reflective media. This is the case in the printing industry and printers.

In the CMYK color model, which like the RGB color model is formed by a cube, the edges of the cube form vectors of length "1". These unit vectors are the colors cyan, magenta and yellow (Yellow), hence the name CMY. The "K" stands for key and is deliberately intended to be different from the designation black, since in printing terms it is only used to increase contrast.

CMYK printing, photo: hq-patronen.de

CMYK printing, photo: hq-patronen.de

The additional black is necessary because in practice no real black is produced from the three primary colours CMY even if all three primary colours are printed with 100 %, because in practice no pure inks are available. The print results therefore appear less saturated and low in contrast.

The two color modelsRGB and CMYK have no mathematical connection, there are only approximations in the conversion from one model to the other. One of these conversion models is the UCR process, Under Color Removal (UCR).

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Englisch: cyan, magenta, yellow, key - CMYK
Updated at: 25.09.2007
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