The World Is Filled With Color
So Is Printing...
Multicolor printing of some kind is the norm, whether it’s spot color or four-color process. Spot color uses a designated ink color, while four-color process printing creates color by laying down overlapping dots (screens) of four primary ink colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK). The size, shape and degree of overlap of these dots determines the appearance of the final printed colors. The most convenient way to specify spot color is to use one of the color systems like Pantone or Trumatch. The newest page makeup, illustration and photo-editing software also support these systems. Each Pantone or Trumatch color has a formula for creating that color with printer’s inks.
Preparing full-color files on your Mac or PC and delivering a disk to your printer by physical or electronic means is now commonplace in most instances. Creating color files requires knowledge of the printing requirements for color, including trapping and color balance. Use of computer color management systems by the file originator who wishes to go beyond low-res images is an absolute requirement for quality and consistency.
Despite all of today’s advances, the most important aspects of dealing with printed color remains: make sure everyone “sees” the same color and understands the limitations of four-color process.
Prepress color proofs that simulate color printing allow you to check composition, color breaks, registration and separations, and are an essential step for satisfactory results.
Pantone Matching System (PMS)
(directly from Pantone's website)
Pantone, Inc. is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color. The PANTONE Name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer. With 40 years of experience, we are the worldwide market leader in color communication and color technology for the graphic design, printing, publishing, textile and plastics industries.
So What Does Pantone Mean?
Pantone Matching System is a printing industry standard used for accurate matching of colors on any project. Guides are used to mix inks accurately every time they are needed, so that every project looks the same. Using the Pantone guidebook, if you choose PMS 300 (like we use in our logo), then every piece you have printed now, and in the future, will have the same consistent color.
Submitting Color Files
It cannot be stressed enough, when sending color files (photos, eps artwork or logos, etc.) they must be saved in one of two ways to ensure accurate colors. One saving method is to use Pantone colors in your vector artwork (Illustrator, Corel). The other method is for photos or other graphics, and the file must be saved in CMYK mode, not in RGB mode. Color conversions from RGB to CMYK will vary the color definitions depending on the software settings on EACH computer.
All artwork in a single color or black and white, should be saved either in Bitmap or Grayscale. Colors can be added later in any graphic design program, and will more accurately match the end product.