Colouring illustrations – RGB or CMYK?

I am in the process of colouring a series of hand-drawn illustrations in Photoshop using a graphics tablet. The colouring process takes place mostly using Photoshop’s native drawing tools – the pencil, airbrush, etc.

The final goal for these illustrations is printing on a digital offset printing machine.

My plan was to work in RGB colour space to have all of Photoshop’s functions available, and worry about CMYK conversion at a very late point – or even sending RGB data to the printer’s, letting them take care of the conversion and then fine-tune during the proof printing process.

Are there arguments from the world of professional print production that speak against this? Should I be taking CMYK into consideration much earlier so I don’t use areas of the colour space that can never be reproduced on paper?


You don’t need to work in CMYK directly. Stay in RGB as long as you want. When you’re ready to send to the printer, save your original, then Save As PDF/X-1a using [filename]_CMYK.pdf or something similar, which will convert to CMYK on the fly. Use as your output color profile in the PDF dialog the one that your printer recommends. (ALWAYS ask your printer.)

You can also use Edit > Convert to Profile and select a CMYK profile. The end result will be exactly the same.

Source : Link , Question Author : Pekka , Answer Author : Alan Gilbertson

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