How do I edit my CMYK greens to output as brightly as possible?


Question

enter image description hereConverting my photoshop work from RGB to CMYK to send to print. Found out today that RGB has a much broader and vibrant colour array than CMYK.

Trying to edit the values, saturation, brightness, exposure etc. to make my greens look even REMOTELY close to what I want. All I've been told is "you'll never get CMYK to look like RGB" which is fine, except for nearly every magazine and booklet I have at home has the vivid, vibrant greens and blues I want. How?

It's very frustrating especially seeing as I've only learned this 3 days before I need to have it printed.

I've searched the values for lime green with CMYK with were C - 70 & Y - 100 (in reality I want it a bit darker than that) but it just comes out as a murky khaki colour on my screen.

The green on the left is the colour I get in RGB. The other two are the colours I've managed to replicate. However, I have at least 6 brochures/booklets at the side of me which all have that bright green colour on the left in them. So why can't I get that colour? Is there a difference between screen and print due to the way the models work? I'm a novice to this and it's all a bit confusing! Thank you

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8/12/2015 9:17:00 AM

You may remember me from "You'll never get that RGB color in CMYK!"

Now, you said you wanted something darker than Cyan70 +Yellow100:

You don't have much choice to darken your color and keep it bright, you need to add more Cyan! Try C75 + Y100 and keep adding your cyan until you are satisfied.

Forget about your RGB green, and work with the good old color system by adding your CMY values to keep your colors bright and mixing them as it's done with paint. Black will make them more dull so don't add any.

Cyan + Yellow = Green

Magenta + Cyan = Purple

Magenta + Yellow = Bright Red

Etc.

And yes, your screen might not be perfectly calibrated, but even if it is, CMYK do look way "darker" than RGB colors. Trust your brain, if the Cyan + Yellow you choose to make your green looks like the best you can do, and if the suggestions for the Pantones are close, then these are the right (best) values.


Also:

Use a Pantone Chart if that can help you. It's better if you have a printed one, so maybe add this to your wish list! That will help you see some Pantones and their CMYK recipes and have an idea how it looks like on paper (coated or uncoated.)

From what I can see, the closest Pantones to your green is Pantones #360 and #361. You could also have a look at #376 if you want it more lime, it's a very nice bright green once printed.

Some real life examples close to the colors you can expect. It's better than you think.

Pantone #368 with (probably) Pantone blue 072 or Reflex Blue:

Pantone 368

There's also Pantone #347 that is often used for logos and very pure green too.

Pantones 347

Pantones 347 example

Pantone 360

Pantone 360

Pantone #355

Pantone 355

Pantone #362!

Pantone 362


Maybe this can interest you as well. Nice pictures with Pantones.

That's another good trick to start noticing prints you see everywhere and that you know well, and then verify on the brand or logo guidelines what are the colors used. You can often find these info on the brands' websites, developer or media sections, or sometimes Wikipedia. After a while, you will know instinctively what are the best mixes or Pantones to use and you'll have your favorite ones too.

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8/12/2015 8:53:00 AM

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