What do 4 color process, spot colors or digital printing mean to you and your project? How do you know what option is best? Well, let’s break down some facts about printing and tips that might help you with your next project.
Since everyone’s talking about the Pantone Color of the Year – Ultra Violet – let’s start off by looking into the spot color options for your project. In offset printing, a spot color is any color generated by an ink (pure or mixed) that is printed in a single printing unit. While CYMK can come close to matching any color, a PMS color (Pantone Matching System color) can be mixed and used for areas that need to be an exact match to, say, a logo color or any other color – like Pantone’s Ultra Violet. Printing a PMS color is also the best way to ensure your brand color carries over from all the collateral items you print.
If you have photos or other artwork you’d like to use on your material and an important logo in PMS colors, you might want to consider 4 color process plus one or two PMS colors. This will allow you to place images on your project while printing your corporate colors as well. Nothing has to be sacrificed, especially not the integrity of your brand.
The 4 color process is probably the most common way to set up your artwork. With the standard CMYK setup you can print countless combinations of colored logos, full images and photos.
In this system a color image is separated into 4 different color values to create 4 images that are transferred to printing plates. When you run these on a printing press with the CYMK inks (cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black (the k in cmyk)) you can reproduce the original color image. Printing 4 color process is standard in the printing industry on offset presses (presses that use inks and printing plates). To match colors, we can reference existing printed materials, color chips or a PMS color guide and adjust our press accordingly.
As part of our quality management process, we’ll send out a printed proof before we produce a project to let you review color accuracy. The proof will be laminated if your binder, folder or box is designed with lamination, since the film does have an effect on colors. Our customers are also always welcome visit our plant for a press check.
Digital printing is the reproduction of digital images on paper using toner rather than liquid inks. It is ideal for “short run” projects, meaning lower quantities. No printing plates are required and there is generally less paper waste and fewer chemicals compared to offset printing. However, the quality of digital printing – while very good – doesn’t compare to offset and allows for fewer finishing options.
Corporate Image has taken many steps to ensure that its digital presses can match Pantone colors effectively using CMYK. We employ the most recent software advances on the market.
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