Color Tips for DIY Designers

Computers have influenced every part of business, and many business owners may use computer programs in lieu of hiring a professional graphic designer. If you are planning to design your print materials yourself, keep the following tips in mind as you complete your project.

*Computer screen colors appear in RGB (red, green, blue) format. RGB is considered “additive colors,” which means the combination of these three lights yield white light. These colors come directly from a light source. In contrast, printed products appear in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), which are considered “subtractive” colors, because they are reflected directly off an object from a light source. Because of this, CMYK colors cannot form as pure an image as RGB colors can. RGB also represent a greater number of colors than CMYK can.

What this means to you - unless you make allowances, your print project will likely turn out muddy and dull, as the picture above demonstrates. So it’s imperative that you set up your file in CMYK format so that your target color will match the onscreen color, and will be the finished printed color you expect.

The Pantone process color guide is helpful in that it contains CMYK values for more than 3,000 colors. This allows you to see the printed color that most accurately matches your desired color. The guide also shows how different types of paper affects different colors, which can help avoid costly color mistakes.
Please contact East Ridge Printing at 585.266.4911 if you would like to stop in and take a look at a pantone guide for your next printing project.

Here are a few other things to remember when designing materials on your computer:
*Don’t finish your file THEN convert it to CMYK. Set your initial file up in CMYK instead.
*Don’t depend upon what you see. Compare your CMYK % values with those in a Pantone book.
*Use a calibrated monitor and colors within the CMYK color space.
*Resolution should be set to at least 300 dpi.
*Convert files to CMYK yourself rather than asking the printer to convert them.

At East Ridge Printing, we are a well-rounded team of printing artisans backed by our ERP Promise. Learn more about our guarantee by clicking the following link or call us at 585.266.4911. ERP Promise Link: