Using Colour Correctly
Ever wanted to know what designers really mean when we harp on about colours?
CMYK – for digital printing and print advertising (we use this the most). Aim to have a colour made up of only 3 – otherwise you’ll run into trouble when plates shift in newsprint (that blurred effect you see with many dark colours)
PANTONE aka PMS spot colours – used in offset print (if you’ve got a good budget for printing) or using as a base for choosing colours for brands (many of these PMS change slightly when you convert them to CMYK – so we always set up a CMYK shade to match).
RGB – only used for web/computer screen. RGB has a far larger colour gamut, so if you’ve picked a nice bright green and you need it converted to CMYK for print, it will change to a duller form as CMYK has a smaller range…(some reds/magentas, BRIGHT greens and blues and anything Fluro cannot be reproduced exactly in CMYK).
1. Always check your colours in CMYK before you choose final colours for your brand.
2. Get a colour proof – a must when you are creating a logo/brand styling (or printing a large run of flyers, brochures…there many other issues that can occur to do with file ripping, but that’s story for another time)
3. Be aware EVERY print machine prints differently – if you swap printers you will most likely get a slight change in your colours. Offset generally prints lighter than digital and Digital printers need to be calibrated, especially before a print run of a tricky colour…(listen to your designer if they tell you ‘hey, this colour might be quite difficult to match’ it’s a friendly heads up that it’ll be hard to get a consistent result in print)
3. Newspaper printing…don’t get me started on trying to achieve a consistent colour here, just accept that you’ll get a slightly different result each run.
– Plates can shift resulting in the registration moving (hence blurred effect mentioned above).
– sometimes there may be too much of one colour and that’ll throw an odd colour cast on the page (e.g too much magenta making everything look redder than it should).
– Never put black body text in FULL black.
– Avoid using a point size smaller than 8pt ontop of a dark colour (or in general any font sizes small than 8pt)
– Newspaper advert design is much about eliminating the risk of potential print problems (because, you never know…)
At Crispin Design, when we create a new brand we provide a breakdown of ALL the above colour options….plus add in HEX colours for ease of use in website design AND match to the closest sign writing vinyl colours.
I could carry on and write a novel here, but all you need to know is when you deal with us, we’ve got your colours covered