How does one pronounce the acronym CMYK, in the color model sense.

If there is more than one pronunciation, how popular is each of them?

  • 4
    I usually pronounce it /smik/ (to rhyme with ‘stick’), but that might be influenced by my working with printers and designers who speak Danish and therefore pronounce it /smyk/. Dec 16, 2013 at 18:12
  • In Finland, I've heard it pronounced (when speaking English) "smook" (/smʊk/), rhymes with "nook".
    – Hugo
    May 21, 2018 at 6:48

3 Answers 3



I just asked the designers here and they do nothing other than pronounce the letters. If they need to term it they use "Four colour process".


I think this kind of acronym is usually pronounced as separate letters - "C, M, Y, K". I've also found a source (first speaker) where after conventional pronunciation another variant is given - /smaɪk/.

  • 2
    +1 for separate letters, smaik, I have yet to come accross. Dec 16, 2013 at 17:19

I have always told my students to pronounce it as the letters indicate, in other words as: c-mike (CMYK). This seems to help them remember the four process colors.

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