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Monday, August 19, 2019, 3:46

Why colors are printed incorrectly?

From time to time it might happen that after completing the order, colors are different than we expected. How this happened? Who is to blame?

To avoid situations like that, during the stage project preparation, you should pay attention to a few things:

-You saw the project on the monitor screen. If it’s not high end monitor designed for graphics and properly calibrated – you will not see true colors.

Monitors use the RGB Palette and printing is done in CMYK or Pantone. Those are completely different palettes. In addition, printing paint does not produce any light, so their perception by the human eye is quite different.

You might even print out the project on your computer printer to check if the colors are right. Well, popular printers are designed to make nice, colorful pictures that have nothing to do with the actual colors present in the file.

-Every graphics software is different, and every computer has its own color palette. The way how colors are displayed depends on how said system is adjusted. The same color might be lush and vibrant on specific settings and completely dull on others.

-How light to you use? Common lamps produce red light, fluorescent one – green and energy saving lamps however they want. As a result, we may think that the print is too red or too blue. Therefore, special equipment os sunlight is used to evaluate the use of color

-The way the colors turns out in printing is also dependent on the type of surface it is printed on. It will look one way when printed on offset paper (usually used for envelopes and letterhead), and completely differently when printed on thick paper (ie. used for business cards and albums). The more color absorbent surface, the weaker the color.

If the project is laminated of or uses spot gloss – it will also affect the way colors are perceived. Spot Gloss sharpens more saturated colors. However the matte foil slightly dims them down. This is due to the reflection of light from the surface. The same goes to matte or shiny papers.
To be certain how the colors will be printed, you have to order certified digital print. It costs about 50-100 zl for one A4 sheet. For this test we usually print only a portion of our work. This ensures that our work has the right color palette. Ordering the proof, you have to specify the surface, because studio will then turn the proper simulation, which also affects the colors. This proof should be given to the printer, who will use it for comparison.

Digital proof imitates colors printed in CMYK quite well, not so much when it comes to Pantone. This is due to the fact that the machine prints using CMYK palette, but Pantone colors can be achieved only by mixing CMYK colors. When using Pantone Palette, it is best to use stencils produced by this company, because it is the current standard in the world