The art of choosing colours..

Pantone col
There is nothing worse than the awful feeling in the pit of your stomach when you see your job coming back from the printer with colours that are just not right!

Not only is it important to choose the correct colours for the face of your brand, but it is especially key when going to print for the first time.

The problem, in a nutshell, is that computer screen colours differ to print colours. Print colours are divided into CMYK and Pantone colours. And to make it even more complex, these print colours can differ depending on how and what you print them on.

As a graphic designer, this is a lesson I have taken to heart and was reminded of again whilst working on a recent packaging job. This particular job is being printed on a foil based substrate (Frosted DOPP) which makes choosing colours interesting to say the least. Even if you print white on top of the foil as a base for the Pantone colours to sit on, the silver foil still shines through. This gives the Pantone colours a slightly greenish hue…sigh! So now you’re choosing Pantone colours from a swatch book, which are meant to be accurate in themselves, but having to keep in mind that when printed, they will have a greenish hue. I won’t bore you with all the details, but suffice to say, it has taken many phone calls, emails and a good number of swatches to get to the final colour palette.

In conclusion I think I can safely say that all the blood, sweat and tears won’t be worth a damn thing if you don’t see the process through, from design to the final, printed masterpiece.

Next time, plan in extra time to ensure that the screen colours you have chosen can be replicated in print… it may take longer than you think but it will be time well spent.


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