Encyclopedia > Four-color printing

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Four-color printing

Four-color printing refers to creating an image using subtractive dyes of cyan, yellow, magenta, and black. It is also known as CMYK printing from the abbreviations of the dyes.

The process works by using means of an optical illusion. Traditionally (as opposed to stochastic screening), a fixed number of small dots of varying size are printed at specific angles for each color. The size of the dots controls the amount of a particular color that is reproduced. By mixing the four colors (magenta, yellow, cyan and black), it is possible to reproduce a large enough spectrum of colors to make the viewer believe what he is seeing is a continuous tone, color image.



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