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Monday 21 September

Printing 101: Colour

Printing 101: Colour

In days gone by, the manner in which colour was reproduced with the use of a spot colour printing process meant that it was an incredibly expensive endeavour. However, with the introduction of the CMYK (four colour) printing process, the cost of printing high quality colour projects has been drastically reduced.

Colour crash course

When setting up a document for the print process there are a couple of key considerations to keep in mind.

  • Don’t let RGB fool you – RGB, which refers to the Red, Green and Blue pixel clusters that produce colour on a computer screen, is the default colour setup for most, if not all, image editing programs. This colour setup is exclusively used for digital formats and will, as a result, not be appropriate for printing. Although most print houses will be able to convert an RGB file to a print friendly format, the results can often vary drastically from the original. With this in mind, it is advised that you either complete your project in a print friendly format or that you convert the RGB file yourself to ensure you are satisfied with the results.
  • Go CYMK for almost any project – The CMYK or four colour print process makes use of different combinations of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black to produce a wide range of colours. With recent technical advancements, this print process has transformed the print industry. Traditionally expensive print projects can now be produced at a fraction of the cost while maintaining a very high level of quality. As a result, this printing process can be utilised to print a huge variety of product combinations.
  • Break the bank with a little spot colour – The spot colour print process utilises individual printing plates that each apply a different colour (traditionally pantone colours) to the project. In addition to the colours being added one at a time, the press also needs to be cleaned between colour passes making this type of printing time intensive and expensive. However, If you are looking to achieve a very high level of colour consistency on a range of three or less colours and are willing to pay for it, then spot colour is what you are looking for.

Colour in practice: Exaprint products and their colour options

At Exaprint, we are passionate about producing a wide range of quality printed products at the most affordable prices. As a result, we do, to a large extent, focus on utilising the four colour process for our printing. There are, however a select number of products with which we do offer spot colour printing.

Products that you can print with CYMK colour include:

  • Business cards
  • Flyers/Leaflets
  • Letterheads
  • Brochures
  • Posters and many more

Products that you can print with spot colour include:

  • A select number of business cards
  • A select number of letterheads
  • A select number of envelopes
  • Silk screen stickers
  • Recyclable carrier bags

Now that you know a little about colour, time to select the perfect paper stock for your project.

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