Defining Your Color Space: CMYK versus RGB in sublimation

Take this critical step in defining the correct color space or mode within your graphic design software.

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No matter which color management solution you choose to work with, one critical step is defining the correct color space or mode within your graphic design software. These programs enable you to use different color profiles. When working with sublimation, you need to activate a specific RGB profile in order to produce accurate colors, unless working with a RIP, which uses CMYK.

Designs and images often come with their own embedded profile. When opening in your graphics program, you’ll need to make sure it is converted to the appropriate sublimation profile. For example, many graphic artists design in CMYK color mode because this is the most appropriate for commercial printing. Because sublimation requires RGB, these files need to be converted upon importing into your design software. The reason for this is that sublimation profiles are built to convert RGB colors to CMYK output, not CMYK to CMYK (unless using a RIP, which works CMYK to CMYK). If you try to print a file that is CMYK, the conversion will not work correctly and the colors will be off.

Check instructions to ensure you have the correct settings for your specific graphics program and that you’ve installed your color management software correctly. 

-Robin Kavanagh, Sawgrass


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