“Why does the color of my printed permit look different than the online image?” We get asked that question quite a bit here at Rydin, and we want to explain why that bright punchy lime green you chose for your permits looks more subdued when they’re printed.

RGB vs. CMYK – What’s the Difference? 

RGB stands for red, green and blue. Your computer monitor is composed of light emitting diodes (LEDs) that make up pixels, and each pixel can display over 16 million colors. These colors are a part of what is called the RGB color gamut, which is composed of all colors in the visible spectrum of light. If you were to hold a magnifying glass up to your screen, you would see tiny red, green and blue lights.

Now, ink on paper, on the other hand, is obviously not made up of lights and pixels. This is where CMYK comes in. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. At Rydin, most of our printing methods utilize varying amounts of cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink to create the rainbow of colors you see on your printed materials.

So, what does this all mean? 

When moving from one color gamut to another, the color representation on your screen may appear different when converted to a printed product. We use ink to replicate the colors you’ve selected, and this is displayed through reflective light rather than transmissive light. Quite often, a computer screen will appear brighter than printed material because of the transmissive light.

How can I make sure the right color is being printed? 

It’s easy – call your dedicated Rydin account representative for assistance. They’ll be happy to assist you with matching a particular Pantone color you’re looking for, or they can mail you one of our extended color charts that has 64 Pantone colors to choose from.