The differences printing in RGB and CMYK mode, RIP or no RIP (Raster Image Processor)?
Color reproduction in different media could be a huge topic! Most of the photographers and designers deal with it everyday, and some might find it confusing. I will try to make it short and as simple as possible, I hope you will find it is easy to read. In future I will extend this to a separate article when time is allow.
RGB or CMYK?
Nowadays many inkjet printers use multiple inks (in additional to CMYK) to expend the color gamuts. The objective is to output as many colors as possible. Ink on paper is a subtractive system (light is absorbed by pigment or dye), the color system is CMYK in nature. But when we use the printer driver which come with the printer, it interprets colors same to your operating system color environment and it calculate color date in RGB (additive) mode. The printer driver converts the RGB color data to subtractive color data in the background for you. The objective is try to ensure as much as color data are preserved when send the image file to the printer.
How about Raster Image Processor (RIP)?
Do I have to use RIP for Fine Art Printing
Raster Image Processor provide many useful features, it enables you to utilise Postscript language workflow in print production environment, for example produce contract color proofs for color matching, calibrate your output device based on industrial standard (ISO 12647-2, FOGRA39…). Enable you to run verifications and also nesting your input files to save paper. It is commonly use in litho (offset) printing industry. However, it provide all kinds of workflows such as RGB, CMYK, as well as LAB. It is powerful but cost you extra to invest.
However, if your work are mainly in RGB mode like photographic images, print images one by one without needing nesting feature. It is completely fine to use the RGB printer drivers in provided by the printer manufacture.