In this study we demonstrate simple guidelines to generate a diverse range of fluorescent materials in both liquid and solid state by focusing on the most popular C-dots precursors, i.e. the binary systems of citric acid and urea. The pyrolytic treatment of those precursors combined with standard size separation techniques (dialysis and filtration), leads to four distinct families of photoluminescent materials in which the emissive signal predominantly arises from C-dots with embedded fluorophores, cyanuric acid-rich C-dots, a blend of molecular fluorophores and a mixture of C-dots with unbound molecular fluorophores, respectively. Within each one of those families the chemical composition and the optical properties of their members can be fine-tuned by adjusting the molar ratio of the reactants. Apart from generating a variety of aqueous dispersions, our approach leads to highly fluorescent powders derived from precursors comprising excessive amounts of urea that is consumed for the build-up of the carbogenic cores, the molecular fluorophores and the solid diluent matrix that suppresses self-quenching effects.