What is the difference between CMYK (Four Color Process) and Simulated Process?

Four Color Process printing, also known as CMYK, essentially performs the same way that your inkjet printer does, blending the four colors, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black) to produce full-color images as opposed to spot color images. Four Color Process with water based inks is best when printed on white or very light colored shirts and does not work well on dark shirts. For full color images on dark shirts, we recommend Simulated Process printing.

Simulated Process printing is an amped-up version of Four Color Process. It is capable of producing very photo-realistic images with a high amount of detail. It uses traditional spot colors, yet blends them in a four-color process manner, simulating full color images. This process works very well on both light and dark colored garments. The ink color count for simulated process jobs are often in the five to ten color range, therefore making it the best process for higher quantity runs.

Last updated:
May 14, 2021

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