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Four colour process printing

Posted 25th August 2017

Four colour process printing

Many of you will already be familiar with the term 4 colour process printing. Which simply means that four plates are used during printing - one for each of the four process colours; cyan, magenta, yellow and black which are more commonly known as CMYK. Printers also use the terms 4/4, 4/1 and 4/0 but what do these actually mean?

So what is 4/4?

This refers to the number of colours printed on each side of the sheet. It tells us that 4 colours are to be printed on both sides. Usually they will be 4 process colours.

What is 4/1?

Again, this tells us that 4 colours are to be printed on one side and one colour on the other. Usually it will be 4 process colours on one side and black on the other.

What is 4/0?

I’m sure you already worked out that this is 4 colours printed on one side and the other is blank.

Printed sheet in cmyk

Preparing 4 colour artwork for press

If your document is to be printed on a 4 colour press you will need to supply your printer with a file that contains CMYK images. For details on how to check this when preparing your artwork see Should I convert RGB colours to CMYK?

Or if you are supplying us artwork for printing and would like more information our production team will be able to advise you.