In the industrial wide format printing industry, CYMK and RGB are both used to create high-quality, large-format images, such as billboards, posters, and trade show graphics. However, they are used in different ways and have some important differences.
CYMK, which stands for Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Black, is the traditional color model used in wide format printing. It is a subtractive color model, which means that it is used to create a wide range of colors by subtracting certain wavelengths of light. In wide format printing, the inks are layered on top of one another to create a final image. The primary colors in the CYMK model are cyan, magenta, and yellow, and black is added as a fourth color to create a wider range of shades and to help with color accuracy. Wide format printers that use the CYMK color model typically use four ink cartridges, one for each of the primary colors and black. In the instance of direct to film (DTF), CMYK and W (white) pigments are used. This is the ideal color spectrum for fabrics and textiles that generate extremely bright and vibrant images.
RGB, on the other hand, is an additive color model, which means that it is used to create a wide range of colors by adding different intensities of red, green, and blue light. This color model is mostly used in digital displays, such as computer monitors and televisions, where light is projected directly onto a screen. RGB does not exist in the physical world and is strictly confined to digital.