More about Color: Digital Color | RGB vs. CMYK
Universal Printing has been in business for over 30 years, and when you're doing something for so long it's easy to forget that things we deal with day-in and day-out are completely foreign and mysterious to other people. This is the case with RGB and CMYK color spaces.
Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten...
Most of us first started to learn about color in school. We learned about the Primary Colors: Red, Yellow, and Blue. We learned that the secondary colors (Orange, Purple and Green) are made from mixing the primary colors: for example, "yellow and blue make green." While this is generally a good starting point for teaching the basics of color, when it comes to color printing, we need to break color down a little further.
In commercial offset printing, digital printing, and even your inkjet printer at home, color is built from 4 pigments know as Process Colors:
|C = Cyan||Y = Yellow|
|M = Magenta||K = Black|
These colors in various combinations, and used at different tints and screen angles, can produce a wide range of color. Even the "primary colors" we were taught are base colors that can't be mixed, are made from mixing the process colors. "Blue" is made by mixing Cyan and Magenta, and "Red" comes from combining Magenta and Yellow. The addition of Black is used for darker shades, while lighter shades come from using lighter tints (also known as screens or halftones.) When you look at any printed piece, it's CMYK. This color model is considered "subtractive color" because if you start at 100% of all 4 colors, you have a deep rich "black" and you have to subtract color to get to "white."
Have you met Roy G. Biv?
Another thing we were taught in school, is that white light is made from all colors. The example that's always used to demonstrate how this works is a rainbow. The spectrum of light is arranged in the following order: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet (which is where the acronym ROYGBIV comes from.) Using this principal the RGB color space uses Red, Green, and Blue light to create color. The RGB model is considered "additive color" because no light is "black" and you have to add color to get to "white." The best example of this is your television or computer monitor.