XCMYK Expanded Gamut

Introducing XCMYK 4-Color Extended Gamut! A research program of the GRACoL® Working Group

XCMYK is an extended-gamut printing method that yields a much wider color gamut than regular 4-color printing. For example, Digital printers can simulate XCMYK using ICC profiles, so long as their printing system has a color gamut equal to or greater than XCMYK.

The XCMYK dataset and profiles can reproduce a larger gamut than that of GRACoL®, the industry’s current standard for print quality. The XCMYK dataset and profiles can also be used directly in digital front ends for presses, proofers, and other devices. Profiles can be used on traditional four-color presses as well as on a variety of digital devices to produce a colorspace larger than current traditional printing.

XCMYK research and development was conducted by the GRACoL Working Group and a special task force of more than 100 professionals from 88 companies, over a 15-month period in 2015-2016, and involved 26 test sites around the world, including Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, Canada, and the United States. See complete list of XCMYK Test Sites.

Key Notes:

XCMYK is not a replacement for GRACoL; it is an alternative colorspace


  • a 4-color offset/ 4-color digital printing method
  • a data set
  • an ICC profile


XCMYK, requires a higher level understanding of color and printing methodology. Idealliance has many resources, educational, and certification programs available to help global industry individuals and facilities greatly expand their knowledge and expertise.

Based on the simple idea that “more ink means more color” (within reason), XCMYK offers a relatively easy way to produce more saturated, richer color printing than GRACoL. All that’s required are carefully-controlled workflows and a passion for excellence. (You’ll also need some colorful subject matter!)



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