3 Tips to Show Your Print’s True Colors!
We’ve all had the experience of getting an image just right on the computer, printing it out, and finding out that the printed page didn’t quite reflect what we’d seen. That’s why being careful about your colors is an essential part of print ordering. Here are three tips to ensure that the colors of your print order display perfectly.
- Get Your Color Profile Right
One of the biggest ways to show your print’s true colors is to get the color profile correct before sending the file to print. Here are the four color profiles you might come across:
- Hex: Those of you who have worked in web design are almost certainly familiar with hex colors. A hex triplet is a six-digit, three-byte hexadecimal number like #ff0000 used to represent the color you see on screen—red, in the case of our example number. Hex colors are common in web design, but shouldn’t be used in print.
- RGB: RGB is the color system that your computer uses to create color on screen. Because this color system uses light, the colors red, green, and blue are combined to make different colors, with all three being used to create white light.
- CMYK: CMYK is the color system we use in the print industry. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (keytone) inks are used to create color in a wide variety of colors. Dots of each color are put in layers on the paper to create an image. Since there are variations between presses, press operators and other factors, CMYK colors can vary slightly between printings.
- PMS: The Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors is a popular spot color system created by Pantone Inc. Because Pantone colors are mixed using precise recipes before they are printed, using PMS color inks is a great way to ensure that you always get just the color you want, especially if your document is printed on an offset press.. Because we are an all digital house, we cannot guarantee exact PMS matches, as this system was made for liquid inks, however, we can usually get very close.
Wondering which color system to use? We are an all digital house, so we exclusively use the CMYK color space. This can sometimes lead to unexpected results if you send us files in any other color space. One such result is prominent with violet. It is impossible to print PMS violet on a CMYK press, it always turns out blue.
- Choose Your Stocks Carefully
The stock you choose is an absolutely essential element of how the final printed design looks. A full color design will look more vibrant on a bright white stock, for example, than it will on an ecru stock. Because the ink isn’t fully opaque, the color of the stock will show through, and this makes stock choice very important when creating print.
Ever wonder why we don’t recommend printing blue on a yellow stock? This is why—the print will end up looking green.
- Don’t Forget Printing Black in Full Color Print
Printing a true black on a CMYK press is an important part of ensuring your colors look right. After all, colors will pop more against a “rich” black than they will against gray, which is how 100% black prints on a CMYK press. When you order full color print, we recommend using 60% cyan, 40% magenta, 40% yellow, and 100% black to ensure that your black appears as dark and rich as possible.
How do you ensure that the colors in your print products are true to the design you’re printing? We’d love to see your advice in the comments below.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]