Color Printing

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What is a four-color process for manufacturing books?

Color Printing

How many Colors!? A four-color book cover design is normally not four flat colors. The term “four-color book printing” refers to black and the three process colors of CYMK:

  • Cyan (blue)
  • Yellow
  • Magenta (red)

From these four colors printed in screens of dots (one on top of the other) you can make almost any color in the spectrum. Anytime you see a "full-color" photograph printed in a book or magazine, it's a four-color process. Anytime a book cover design looks like it has more than two colors, it's probably a four-color book cover design.

The next time you notice a blurry picture in a color newspaper, take a closer look and you'll see how the process works. The picture is blurry because the press was "out of register" (perhaps the cyan ink didn't drop precisely on top of the yellow ink). Sometimes the register is so bad you can actually see the different color dots.

   

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