What does 4-color, CMYK and full-color printing mean?
The short answer is that they both mean the same thing. The term "CMYK" is the most specialized term and is mainly used by professional printing companies in china and designers. It is the mixing of ink colors on a digital or offset press for full color printing. C = Cyan, M = Magenta, Y = Yellow and K = Black ink. The percentage of each color is mixed from 0% to 100% to create a palette of various colors. The term "4 colors" refers to the number of colors that create the more technical term CMYK. "Full color" is the most widely used term for people who printing books in China such as brochures or newsletters.
One area that is causing a lot of potential problems right now is when non-professional designers provide printing companies in china with full-color print projects created using RGB design programs and/or RGB images from digital cameras. R = red, G = green, B = blue; this is the sequence of colors displayed on most personal computer screens. The basic problem is that some colors don't convert well from RGB to CMYK (especially blue and purple).
Also, programs like Microsoft Word and Excel produce full-color text copies, not just black ink. The problem with full color text copies is that you usually get shades of yellow, and the text won't be as "sharp" when printed by printers in China.
If the quality is important, you may want to consider using an experienced professional graphic designer to lay out your work.
What is the difference between CMYK and PMS?
CMYK is the color format used by general four-color printers, and the color gamut consists of four primary colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black).
Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a more accurate color gamut system developed by Pantone Company, which consists of 9 primary colors and 5 metallic colors. The new system is constantly updating new colors, making the color gamut wider.
For general printing, CMYK is the usual choice. However, cmyk cannot reach a very wide color gamut due to the limitation of pigments, and many colors cannot be covered, such as various natural neutral colors, fluorescent colors and metallic colors.
For demanding printing, PMS offers a wider color gamut to choose from. In addition to a wider color gamut, various special colors can be synthesized, but they are generally not used in the general printing industry, but in more advanced design industries, such as the clothing industry, paint industry and advanced advertising design.