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Frequently Asked Questions
I am using a photograph I found on a web site. Why does it look fuzzy?
It has to do with resolution. Images for web sites are lower resolution (optimized for viewing on a monitor) than printed images. There will be only 72 dots per inch of information in the graphic you see on the screen. In print, an image should have 300 dots per inch (at the size you want it printed) or it will look fuzzy. Many images on web sites are also compressed and their "compression blocks" become visible. Generally, it is best not to use images found on web sites in print, because the quality is low and the images are often copyrighted.
Why does the color of my image print differently than it looks on screen?
Monitors make images with glowing phosphors (red, green and blue light) and a printer makes images with inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). Both these devices will interpret images differently. Every printer will interpret images slightly differently, and inks & monitors often shift in color over time. Also, monitors can display colors that a printer cannot create. How can the problem be corrected? There is no easy answer. Calibrating monitors helps and profiles can be created for printers. Sophisticated color management is difficult. Expect your colors to shift when printing and consult an expert when the shift is not acceptable.
What is the difference between RGB and CMYK color?
RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue, which are the primary colors of light. Monitors and televisions create their images by combining Red, Green and Blue light. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the primary pigments for color printers. These four inks can be combined to create full color photographs, magazines and printouts. All three lights (RGB) combine to create white while the absence of light is black. All four pigments (CMYK) combine to make black while none of them leaves a white surface (if the page is white). Red and Green light combine to make yellow, green and blue light combine to make cyan and red and blue light combine to make magenta.