Do I save my file in CMYK or RGB color mode?

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  1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. File Requirements
  4. Do I save my file in CMYK or RGB color mode?

Do I save my file in a CMYK or RGB color model? When saving your files for print you should always save your final designs in CMYK color mode to prevent any problems with the overall color accuracy.

Files that are not saved correctly can sometimes lead to color issues. Since RGB (what you see on your monitor) has a different overall color gamut range than CMYK (printer colors). It makes sense and is fine to create your files in RGB mode, but when saving your final file create a CMYK color mode version to submit to us.

RGB vs CMYK color modes

Example of the conversion in process

RGB to CMYK Color Conversion

Most colors match better between the two color modes. This example was used to show chosen colors that are well beyond the CMYK gamut range.

How to change the color profile of your graphic

The color mode is how your file is set up and saved. It will be a setting in Adobe Illustrator, InDesign or Photoshop. Shown in the menu bar breadcrumbs below.

Illustrator Users
Menu Bar: File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color

Photoshop Users
Menu Bar: Image > Mode > CMYK Color


Choosing CMYK Color Mode in Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator – Menu > File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color

Choosing CMYK Color Mode in Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop – Menu > Image > Mode > CMYK Color

Using Pantone Colors

If you have Pantone (PMS) Colors assigned to your vectors they will print using those colors. If you intend on printing with Pantone Colors please submit your file with all colors assigned in file. When using Pantone Colors make sure you are using the type that has your number followed by a “C” for coated. For example Pantone 138 C.

How To Select A Color in the CMYK Color Gamut Range


Colors in RGB mode
Click to enlarge

Colors in CMYK mode
Click to enlarge
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