The standard CMYK color model (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) is widespread in printing, yet some might not grasp the full range of colors this combination offers. With just this bank of four colors to draw from, users can make everything from barcode labels to elegant and attractive prime pieces that fit on the front of a container expertly.
As Color Matters notes, this is in contrast to the RGB system, which uses red, green and blue to create various images. While this approach pertains mainly to devices that emit light, like television monitors, the CMYK is the dominant model for the printing industry, and each of those colors contributes something important.
For example, Shoshana Burgett recently looked at the specific role that black ink plays in color mixing, using dyed eggs to demonstrate. In a piece for Packaging Digest, she wondered why black ink is necessary when mixing the other three colors should potentially make black as well.
By experimenting with color dyes, she found that the mixture created by cyan, yellow and magenta wasn't entirely black. Even if it was, it showed that the fourth reservoir would still help users save their other ink supplies.
"We could either use a lot more cyan, magenta and yellow dye—or add a fourth color, black," Burgett wrote. "In subtractive printing, black (or K, which stands for key) is added to CMY to make four-color printing—CMYK. Black is an important addition to the formulation because it is less expensive, helps neutralize images and graphics, and adds density to shadows."
You can buy ink cartridges for the VIP Color VP485 printer individually, along with an appropriate print head. Visit this page if you're in the United States, or this one if you're in Canada, to learn more.