A printer capable of printing more than one color. Most color printers are based on the CMYK color model, which prints in four basic colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. By printing combinations of different colors close to each other (or, in the case of thermal dye transfer printers, on top of each other), the CMYK model can simulate most other colors (except for special colors such as fluorescent yellow). This is the same technique used in process color offset printing, which is the technology used to print most color books, magazines, and other paper materials. Some lower-price printers use only three colors -- cyan, magenta, and yellow -- but these printers cannot print true black and their colors tend to be a bit faded.
Color printers use a variety of techniques to lay down the different colors:
Color printers are sometimes divided into the following categories: