Color Tips for the Best Printed Marketing Display Results
For best graphic printing results here are some some basic tips on CMYK Color Conversion, Color Matching, Rich Black, True Blue and Gradient Banding. If you need help please feel free to call our graphic art department, we want you to get the best print possible for your marketing display project!
CMYK vs. RGB
Convert all colors to CMYK! Large format printers print with CMYK inks. The printer software will convert RGB files the colors to CMYK automatically. If you submit an RGB file there is a chance that a color shift may occur and you may not be satisfied with your job. We can not accept financial responsibility for color shifts due to RGB files, thank you for understanding.
- Adobe Illustrator: Go to COLOR PALLET > OPTION CMYK (click the down arrow in the color palette for the options)
- Photoshop: Go to IMAGE > MODE > CMYK
The image below is a comparison of RGB and CMYK color gamut's. The CMYK color gamut is much smaller than the RGB color gamut, thus some CMYK colors will look muted.
Any critical colors should be specified as Pantone coated or un-coated colors in your art file. Art files must be in an editable format for color matching. (color matching fees may apply). Matching Pantone to CMYK colors can be a challenge, 100% accurate matches are not always possible and some pantone colors can not be matched with CMYK. We will match your color as closely as humanly possible! Colors may shift slightly from one print job to the next.
- Adobe Illustrator: Go to SWATCH PALLET > OPEN SWATCH LIBRARY > COLOR BOOKS > choose PANTONE SOLID COATED or PANTONE SOLID MATTE (click the down arrow in the swatch palette for the options)
- Photoshop: Go to SWATCH PALLET > choose PANTONE SOLID COATED or PANTONE SOLID MATTE (click the down arrow in the swatch palette for the options)
Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone. If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you desire. 100% K on screen looks black but will print lighter, use C=60%, M=40%, Y=40% and K=100% for a deep rich black.
Blue is close to purple in the CMYK spectrum. Remember, use a low amount of magenta whenever using high amounts of cyan to avoid purple. When using a blue in your design, always make sure to leave at least a 30% difference in your Cyan and Magenta values. Example: C-100 M-70 Y-0 k-0
If you use a gradient in your design, make sure it has enough room for a smooth transition. Many things can cause banding. Banding can be caused by the program that it is exported form or too many gradient steps. For example going from a very light color to a dark color, in a small area will cause banding. To prevent this, check your files at 100% before submitting.