4-Color process printing (CMYK) remains the gold standard for printed materials, especially for photorealism and consistent quality. The integrity of the final printed image in terms of color accuracy, tonal depth, and detail is best achieved through the CMYK process.
With advancements in technology, specifically in tools, machines, and methodologies, digital printing has blurred some of the traditional boundaries between the CMYK and RGB color models. Digital printing primarily uses the CMYK color model.
Most digital designs, such as website graphics or digital advertisements, start in the RGB color space because they’re intended for screens. However, when these designs are printed, digital printing machines automatically convert RGB to CMYK. Modern technologies have made this conversion process better than before, reducing color mismatches. Still, for optimal results, it’s often recommended to design in CMYK if the primary output is print.