Colour is an area of printing that is often misunderstood. The differences between RGB & CMYK colour spaces, Spot or Process inks, and numerous other design choices can be overwhelming. Fortunately it isn’t as complicated as it sounds.
RGB vs. CMYK
RGB stands for Red, Green, & Blue. Colour is a form of light energy that comes in waves. The most dominant colours in the spectrum are red, green, and blue.
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (black). CMYK or “4 colour process” type of printing. Combining these 4 colours allows for reproduction of thousands of colours, and is sometimes called “full colour” printing. Although there are colours that cannot be reproduced using the CMYK process, for most purposes, such as photographic reproduction, CMYK is completely sufficient.
Most “4 colour process” printers will require CMYK art. This type of art can be ‘separated’ by page layout programs, (printing a separate image for each ink colour) and used to create film, which in turn is used to create the final “plate” that transfers the ink to the paper.
RGB = light. Use for Web & personal desktop printers.
CMYK = ink. Use for commercial printing projects.
Converting to CYMK
When you need to convert your file to CYMK there are many ways you are able to do this.
The way you choose to convert your file, will depend on what program you are using.
Remember, some programs don’t have a feature to convert the file to CYMK due to not having the full version of that certain program…..BUT…..you don’t need additional software.
When you are finished with your file and ready to convert simply follow these steps :
1 go to ‘print’ option in the ‘file’ menu
2 choose your printer name as Adobe PDF
3 select ‘properties’
4 click on the down arrow of ‘default setting’ (it should currently have standard displayed)
5 out of all the options that are now displayed select the one that displays the CYMK in brackets
6 select print
Spot Colour vs. Process Colour
So, what if your print work requires a colour that can’t quite be reproduced by CYMK?
This is where the Pantone Matching System comes to help. It allows you to specify exactly what colour you want in an area of your project. Most commonly, it is used for logos. That way you know that your logo/print will be the same colour where ever you go.
Spot colour can be added to a CYMK job but the paper must go through the press a fifth time (or run on a 5 colour press,) making it literally a five colour job. However be aware that each additional colour will significantly increase the cost and difficulty of the job in question.
If you are not sure what form of printing is right for your business, then the friendly staff at Jiffy are always happy to offer great service and advice.
A good logo helps clients remember your business. The right one can be one of your strongest marketing tools.
Below are some handy hints when choosing a logo for your business:
1. Give some thought to what you want your business to represent in terms of quality, creativity, and value.
2. Check out your competition. What type of logos are they using? You don’t want to be similar or your logo will not differentiate you from them.
3. Colours and shapes need to be evaluated. Are there any which would provide negative or positive effects in your industry?
4. Locate one (or more) good graphic artists.
5. Provide them with the information about your business, its name, and any other relevant information, contract with them to design you a number of possible logos.
6. Test market the logos with family, friends, and potential clients.
7. Ask the graphic artist to revise the logo based on the input you have received.
8. Test market and revise one more time.
9. If desired, trademark the logo.
10. Have your letterhead, business cards, signs and packaging printed!
1. Always add the name of the business under the logo. That helps customers to associate it with your business.
2. Logos do not necessarily need to be a graphic icon. Graphically customising your business name can also be quite effective.
3. When using a graphic designer, be certain to acquire all legal rights for present and future use.