All About Colour — A Guide to Commercial
How does commercial colour print work?
We use four main printing processes, depending
on the requirements of your job. This article gives you the basics of commercial
colour printing so you can appreciate why we suggest the processes we do
when quoting for your job.
process printing (also known as CMYK)
Process colour uses just four colours of ink
– cyan, magenta, yellow and black – to produce a very wide range
of colour possibilities, ideal for printing photographs. Because we specialise
in process colour printing, and we batch jobs together for economy, it can
often be cheaper to print even a simple two-colour design using process colour
rather than spot colour.
Spot colour printing
A spot colour is simply an exact colour of
ink, mixed to your precise requirements. Firms with a recognisable colour
brand (EasyJet orange; DynoRod fluorescent red) would always specify spot
colours to ensure consistency of their brand.
It often comes as a surprise to customers
to find spot colour printing is more expensive than full colour printing.
This is due to the labour involved with spot colour
printing – first the ink has to be mixed from 14 'ingredient' colours;
then the press is loaded with the ink; the job is printed; then the press
has to be washed down afterwards ready for the next spot colour job. This
labour requirement makes spot colour printing, especially in smaller quantities,
colours are most often specified in Europe and North America using the Pantone
system. Swatch books like the one shown here are used to select colours,
'ingredients' for that colour of ink are shown underneath.
Where the four-dot symbol appears underneath
the colour (as in the example on the right here), the colour can be printed
almost exactly using the four-colour process described above, saving money.
Colorlogic® printing (previously called MetalFX®)
on the basis that CMYK (see above) inks are transparent – so when printed
on top of specially modified silver ink, it will allow
through the CMYK, and thus create the illusion of unlimited metallic colours.
The base silver has special qualities that allow
the CMYK inks to adhere to it.
Colorlogic enables you to create
eye-catching designs by enabling you to integrate metallic colours into photographs
and create unlimited metallic colours on the same job, by only using one
extra colour. Ever wanted to have gold, silver and a bronze on the same job,
but never had the budget to use more than one metallic colour? Well now with
Colorlogic you can have all three – and 612 others as well.
If you would like to incorporate metallic colours
in to your next design simply design in CMYK as normal. Please supply us
with a printed proof, accompanying your file, detailing the areas to be metallised
and the colours
to be used.
Colorlogic is priced on a sliding scale, as follows:
- For 500 or fewer prints, please add 60% to the cost of the job
- For 501 to 2,500 prints, please add 52% to the cost of the job
- For 2,501-5,000 prints, please add 45% to the cost of the job
- For 5,001 or more prints, please add 38% to the cost of the job.
If you would like to discuss any ideas this
article might have given you, please feel free to contact
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