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Checking Colours in Your Designs

We'll help you bridge the gap between your colourful designs and amazing printed t-shirts and more.

Updated over a week ago

Q: I've designed something awesome, how do I make sure the colours print well?

A: Let's break it down...

Design in RGB, Print in CMYK

Your design software excels at RGB (Red, Green, Blue). That's what gives you the most vibrant colours on your screen, so keep working in RGB!

Most printers use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) inks. There's some overlap between RGB and CMYK, but not a perfect match. A conversion will be necessary and some colour shifts can occur.

But if you want to ensure your designs will be converted well from RGB to CMYK, there's a few things you can do...

Helpful Tools for Colour Accuracy

CMYK Checkers

Photoshop and similar programs have "CMYK gamut" checkers. This will highlight colours your printer might have trouble with.

Don't panic if something is flagged, our printers are powerful! Just be aware that that specific colour might shift slightly when printed.

  1. Open Photoshop: Launch Photoshop and open your RGB design file.

  2. CMYK Proofing:

    • Go to "View" -> "Proof Setup" -> "Working CMYK".

  3. Gamut Warning:

    • Navigate to "View" -> "Gamut Warning".

  4. Identify Issues: Look for areas of your design that turn grey. These colours are likely outside the printable CMYK range and may print paler than they appear on screen.

Online Converters

Websites such as can help you convert HEX colour codes (like #FF0080) into their closest CMYK equivalents. This can help you to check that you're using the most vibrant values and is a good starting point to ensuring your designs print vibrantly.

What's the Best Way to Check Colours?

Test Prints! When colours are super important for your project, a sample test print is the most accurate way to see how the final result will look.

We offer 50% off your first sample order up to £50, and 10% off one sample order up to £100 every single month! Sign up to our newsletter for more exclusive offers.

Final Thoughts

Design in sRGB for maximum creativity. Use checking tools to be aware of potential colour shifts, and remember that our printers offer a great colour range and we'll always convert your colours as closely as we can.

We're always here to help! If you're unsure how a design will print, feel free to reach out to the Inkthreadable team for advice. We love making your colour dreams a reality.

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