CMYK Systems

Reference work entry


Color vision is based upon the responses of three classes of cones in the retina, each of which has broadband sensitivity but maximum sensitivity at different wavelengths. A consequence of this is that color reproduction is trichromatic – the use of three primaries allows a wide range of colors to be reproduced. Color-mixing behavior can be broadly classified as either additive or subtractive. The optimum primaries of the subtractive color system are cyan, magenta, and yellow. The use of cyan, magenta, and yellow subtractive primaries allows a surprisingly large – albeit limited – gamut of colors to be reproduced. In practical printing systems, black is also used so that CMYK is ubiquitous in printing. Extended gamuts can be achieved using more than three or four primaries and systems based on six or more primaries are becoming quite common.

Further Reading

  1. Clarkson ME, Vickerstaff T (1948) Brightness and hue of present-day dyes in relation to colour photography. Phot J 88b:26Google Scholar
  2. Drew JT, Meyer SA (2008) Color management: a comprehensive guide for graphic designers. RotoVision SA, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  3. Foley JD, van Dam A, Feiner SK, Hughes JF, Phillips RL (1997) Introduction to computer graphics. Addison-Wesley, ReadingMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Gatter M (2004) Getting it right in print: digital pre-press for graphic designers. Laurence-King Publishing, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Hunt RWG (2006) The reproduction of colour, 6th edn. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  6. Maloney LT (1986) Evaluation of linear models of surface spectral reflectance with small numbers of parameters. J Opt Soc Am A 3(10):1673–1683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Morovic J (2008) Color gamut mapping. Wiley, ChichesterCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Sharma G (2002) Digital color imaging handbook. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Westland S, Ripamonti C (2004) Computational colour science using MATLAB. Wiley, ChichesterCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of DesignUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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