How to Convert RGB to CMYK Without Losing Color

Converting RGB to CMYK isn’t the easiest thing because usually, you have to put a decent amount of work into a project to get it ready for conversion, so you don’t lose too much color or parts of your project. However, this doesn’t mean you can completely avoid the changes once the conversion is done.  

Converting RGB to CMYK unfortunately means you will have a change in all of your colors after you convert. The only way to avoid this is by starting in CMYK color mode instead of RGB. While you may not find all of the same colors you want, you should be able to find near exact matches.

Now, there is more than just one way to help your colors look better after converting and printing, but these things often require time, money, and effort from your end that most people don’t wish to do once their project is basically done. Unfortunately, in a scenario where a professional printing job is required or expected at the end, a lot of effort, time, and money is needed. 

FIxing The Color Switch After Converting From RGB To CMYK

Now, once you switch your project to CMYK color mode, you won’t have a lot of options that allow you to fix the colors that are different or changed. While it’s understood that CMYK is a different color scheme base than RGB, it is still a surprise to most people when they convert their file and the colors drastically change. 

Searching For Similar Colors

One option you have to fix the color issue that happens after conversion is to filter through CMYK color codes to find colors that match your desired colors as much as possible. This will allow you to see less of a change or difference in your projects after you convert them to CMYK.

Once you have found similar colors for all your desired colors, you can adjust your original file to compensate for colors you weren’t able to find matches for, then convert your file. 

Use High-Quality Printer

So, the best thing you can do for your projects that will be converted from RGB to CMYK is to buy and use a very high-quality printer. The higher quality your printer is the brighter and more true your colors will be to what you designed them to be. 

If your colors are consistently coming out to be dull and different shades than you intended, you may have low-quality or older printers that can’t compete with the demand for your colors and their vividness. 

Don’t Trust Your Screen

Your colors are always going to look brighter and more vivid on your screen than on paper due to the natural brightness of your screen and the way pixels convey light. Your project on paper will never compare to what is on a screen. 

This is why it’s important to do things such as test prints and see them in different views and resolutions because they will look different in every single one. If you don’t see your project in all these different ways before you think it’s completed, it will look different than you imagined in every single way it’s portrayed. 

The bottom line is, that what you see on your screen will not be the same thing on any other screen, paper, or other material, so do several tests and lower your expectations until everything is complete.

(Source: Adventures With Art, Graphic Design, Adobe Community)

Use PhotoShop And Try Your Luck

So, while hundreds of users have discussed and decided that it’s not possible to convert RGB to CMYK without losing color to some degree, there are others who seem to have found a way to convert their files without losing color, but only using photoshop. 

Using photoshop you can save your file as a .psd file and then change the color mode from RGB to CMYK, but first, you will be asked to rasterize your image and flatten your layers. Once this is done, try again to convert by going through the following steps:

  • Image
  • Mode
  • Color Mode
  • Change from RGB to CMYK

Several users have reported that this is an efficient way to convert your projects without losing any of your colors. Now, there are no reports on whether a print job is affected so this may need to be done through trial and error. 

However, through one or two trial and error runs, you should be able to tell whether the process will work or not. 

Contact A Professional 

In the end, if none of these options are viable for you, your only other choice is to contact a professional in the world of color, printing, and digital images. While they may not be capable of completely fixing your issue, they should be able to offer tips, tricks, and solutions for small things to help you reach your goal. 

Chances are you can contact someone who works with whatever platform or software you are using, or if you know a graphic designer, they should be able to help you as well. However, there are some cases where the colors simply won’t work together and no one can fix that. 

If your project is one of those, don’t get discouraged, simply rework the project and try to adjust the colors enough that they won’t be such an issue during the conversion or printing process. 

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, there is no sure way to complete a project, convert it to CMYK, and have it look the same as it did in RGB. While there may be tips and tricks to help it reach the end goal with as little change as possible, CMYK is a completely different color scheme and base than RGB, so you will likely have colors that won’t look exactly the same as your original.