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Printing Inks: cyan, magenta, and yellow. Printing inks use subtractive colour mixing (lights use additive colour mixing). This simulation shows three printing inks pouring onto a sheet of paper. The filtering effect of each one of these inks creates all the colours necessary for colour printing. In real four colour printing the inks are applied as screens (tiny dots that vary in size to carry the image information). Black ink is also used to enhance contrast and give an outline to the colours.

  • CYAN subtracts RED passes BLUE & GREEN
  • MAGENTA subtracts GREEN passes RED & BLUE
  • YELLOW subtracts BLUE passes RED & GREEN


BUY THIS ANIMATION of subtractive colour mixing!

Labelled diagram of showing printing inks: cyan, magenta, and yellow
above: Labelled diagram showing printing inks: cyan, magenta, and yellow

created using the brilliant Cheetah3D software.

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Russell Kightley Media
PO Box 9150, Deakin, ACT 2600, Australia. Mobile phone Australia 0405 17 64 71
email RKM