Blog | Colour Clarity – Understanding colour

Colour can be a complicated topic to understand. Colours are created by wavelengths of light received by a human eye. There are 7 million wavelengths which all equate to a different colour so trying to reproduce them all within the print process is a challenge!

We understand the frustration that can be caused when the colour in your design is not printed as you had imagined. To help you, we have created a handy ‘Colour Clarity’ booklet which explains the purpose of the different colour formats, the benefits and the limitations so you can make more informed printing decisions. Here’s a brief overview:

RGB is the colour format for digital print. It is used when creating digitally based documents such as websites and uses three colours of the light spectrum: Red, Green and Blue (RGB). The colours are vivid and bright on screen, however, they will look flat and dull on a printed version. This is because the print process uses a different colour format called CMYK.

CMYK is a four colour process used by printers in order to achieve full colour images. It is made up of the full spectrum of colours available: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (CMYK) and works by overlapping and mixing dots created by the four inks. Most colours can be accurately recreated, however, there are a few limitations which spot colour can help to achieve.

Spot Colour is pre-mixed ink used when a specific colour is required. Spot colour can be used either on its own or as an additional colour to ensure the colour is precisely recreated. They are normally chosen from the internationally recognised Pantone Matching System which includes a palette of 18 basic colours that are then mixed to create the correct colour. There are over 1000 Pantone colours is existence.

Metallic Inks are also available to make your print look very effective. It is a varnish based ink containing metal particles which can include copper, aluminium and zinc. Metallic inks work well on coated paper or board and can create a very high quality look at a low cost.

Are you ready to understand colour?

This useful booklet will help you understand colour in the printing process, so you can achieve the best results from your print. It includes useful demonstrations of the differences between CMYK, spot colour and RGB giving you a good understanding of how the colours in your designs will look like when it has been printed. It gives you guidance on how your artwork should be presented to your printer to make sure your print is how you imagined it.

Order your FREE Print Buyers’ Pack!

We have created a free Print Buyers’ Pack designed to help our customers understand the magic you can create when working with a high quality printer and to help you to make clear and informed print decisions. It includes our ‘Colour Clarity’ booklet which explains the relationship between colour and print. There is also a brochure which shows how colour prints differently on various paper finishes. To read more about our paper stock brochure, read this blog

To sign up to receive your free Wood Richardson Print Buyers’ Pack click here.