CMYK stands for the four printing inks Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and “Key” (Black) . These four inks are the base of four-color printing. For printing colorful photos at least these four inks are required.

CMYK color spaces depend on the printer and the paper used and therefore need color profiles to describe the exact shades.

The main CMYK color spaces are:



ISOcoatedv2 is the most common color profile used in the printing industry in Europe. It represents the most common printing methods: offset printing on matte or glossy coated paper. It is no wonder that most printers presuppose the ISOcoatedv2 profile for prints. ISOcoatedv2 is valid for both glossy and matte photo paper, since the two papers hardly differ in color.

The online printing companies that have to perform time-critical print jobs use a slightly  modified version: ISOcoatedv2 300%. In this profile, the maximum ink unlike ISOcoatedv2 is limited to 300%. This ink limit enables faster drying of the paper, which promotes a faster post processing. Both profiles are based on the color space “Fogra39” and verified in the proof.

Currently, research is being conducted on the development of ISOcoatedv2 and developed. Fogra 51 (PSOCoatedV3) will replace in fall 2015 ISOcoatedv2 as standard and is currently in the beta phase.

As standard profiles as in Adobe InDesign or Adobe Photoshop in Europe the following settings can be used:
CMYK profile: ISOcoatedv2
RGB profile: eciRGBv2 or Adobe RGB 1998
Grayscale: “Dot Gain 15%” or “Black ink ISOCoatedV2”.

Also in the area of proofing, ISOcoatedv2 sets the standard. Service providers such as Proof GmbH in Tübingen create around 90% of all proofs in ISOcoatedv2.

The profile ISO Coated v2 consists of the following settings:

Black Length: 9 (application point 10%)
Black Width: 10
max. Area coverage: 330% (300% at ISOcoatedv2 300%)
max. Black: 95%
Gamut mapping” option “setting: Stage 2

filename Profile printing condition verification
ISOcoated_v2_eci.icc ISO Coated v2 (ECI) paper type 1 and 2, glossy and matte coated, Dot gain curve 1 (CMY) and 2 (K) from ISO 12647-2:2004 FOGRA39L

Profile Download: http://www.eci.org

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