The abbreviation CMYK stands for
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black
(K is used rather than B in order to avoid confusion between blue and black).
These are the ink colours used to produce full-colour photographs and designs through four-colour process printing.
grade school lessons
on primary and
Well, CMYK follows those same principles. The four base colours can be used in different combinations to produce a wide range
of secondary colours.
so how does cmyk
work in print?
WHAT IS A PANTONE?
The Pantone Matching System referred to as
[PMS] is a standardised colour reproduction system.
By standardising the colours, different manufacturers worldwide
can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colours match,
without direct contact with one another.
The Pantone system also allows for many ‘special’ colours to be produced including metallics.
Pantone colours are described by their allocated number.
PMS colours are almost always used in branding as they offer a better spectrum of colours.
Each PMS colour has a coated and uncoated version of that same colour. Coated and uncoated swatches represent slightly different formulations based on what type of paper will be used. Coated for glossy-coated papers, uncoated for uncoated paper with a matte finish. Different paper finishes will absorb the inks differently, so the inks are formulated slightly differently to compensate for that absorption.
If you do not own
a Pantone Book
you can visit us
to help you
choose a colour
Take a close look at a colour photograph in your favourite book or magazine.
You’ll notice that the image is actually made up of rows and rows of tiny dots in CMYK colour arranged in different angles.
This combination of dots is called a halftone screen and is used to fool the eyes into seeing a full spectrum of colours.
CMYK Colour Logo
using a cmyk colour
If it takes more than 3 colours to achieve a print reproduction, then 4-colour printing will probably be more economical. CMYK printing is the better method to achieve realistic looking photographs on a printed piece.
using a cmyk colour
Since the colours are a mix of dots over other dots, there is a good chance colour will vary slightly from printer to printer and job to job.
Advantages when using a pms colour
When using spot printing, colours are more accurate because you have already determined the colour by its specific Pantone number.
Since the ink is not being mixed, colour will be more consistent and accurate from one print run to the next.
Some colours, such as metallics and fluorescents, are only available
as spot colours - the same colour and effect can’t be achieved using
Spot colour is generally more economical if printing is kept to 3 colours
NOT SURE WHICH
IS Ideal for your job?
Image showing different CMYK values
There are two types of paper: Coated and Uncoated paper. The decision to use either coated or uncoated paper is probably the one choice that will affect the overall feeling of your product the most.
Coated papers have some kind of coating applied to one or both sides. It comes in a variety of smoothness, like matte, semi-matte or silk, and gloss. They are ideal for printing photographs and other kinds of art. Because of the paper quality, the ink in the printer doesn't get absorbed as much by the paper fibres but stays at the top. This gives brighter colours and the paper a somewhat
The uncoated paper, which has a rough, natural feel to it, is preferred before coated paper for productions that include lots of text. With this paper the printer ink gets inside the top layer of the paper and sinks into the fibers beneath. The thing to consider is that a glossy coated paper reflects light more than uncoated paper does. This can sometimes make it harder to read longer texts. Still the final decision should be all about what feeling you want to achieve with your product.
Usually coated paper is used for the following to achieve brighter colours:
Books and Brochures
Things that should "pop"
Often Uncoated Paper is Used For:
Books and Brochures
You've probably already noticed that all kinds of in betweens exist when it comes to the choice of coated or uncoated paper. One example is that the use of uncoated paper has increased as an alternative for catalogues and brochures to give them a more unique and raw feel.
A paper's opacity describes the amount of light which is transmitted through it. This determines how much printing will be seen through the reverse side of a sheet.
Complete opacity is 100% which means that no light can pass through, while a lower percentage lets more light through. Opacity is important to have in mind when printing booklets, as a sheet with good opacity will prevent ”show through text” when printing on both sides.
A paper's opacity can increase or decrease depending on the use of different fillers, but also by its weight, whiteness or coating.
Paper weight is measured in grams per square metre abbreviated to gsm. In general, the more a sheet of paper weighs, the thicker and/or stiffer it is. This is often measured by micrometer, which is typically given in thousandths of an inch.
Paper weight & thickness
WHEN THERE IS A FULL SOLID COVERAGE IN OFFSET PRINTING, WE SUGGEST TO OVERPRINT WITH GLOSS OR MATT VARNISH OR FINISH WITH GLASS OR MATT LAMINATION FILM TO PREVENT INK SMUDGING.
The resolution of an image or picture describes the detail (or information) an image holds. The higher the resolution, the more detail the image has, because there is more information. Information translates to “pixels,” which are the different coloured “dots” that make up an image. The more pixels there are makes the image more vivid and detailed to the naked eye. If an image has very few pixels the image will appear to be “pixelated”—the pixels look like squares all joined together.
DPI stands for “dots per square inch.” This is the measurement printing companies use to determine how sharp an image is. Photos or images used for online or web graphics can be at low resolution (72 DPI) and will look great on a computer screen. But try to print those same pictures and they’ll look horribly pixelated. For printing purposes images should be 300 DPI or better.
See the difference in resolution of a picture from low to high by sliding the arrows icon.
We suggest that designers contact us before they start working on the artwork
of a particular job to discuss what is the most feasible and cost effective.
Download the Technical Specification Sheet and follow the guidelines
before creating artwork.
It is important
to plan ahead
before creating the
Consider the following
- PRINTING PROCESS
- FINISHING PROCESS
- MATERIALS AVAILABLE
- LEAD TIME
Do you have a query?
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