Colour matching

Our presses are ‘linearized’ daily to ensure they are printing accurately. We put colour bars on our digital as well as our offset printing jobs to assist in ensuring colour is accurate. When files are supplied as RGB, we convert to CMYK using the latest colour conversion profiles supplied by Adobe. Click here to go to our RGB to CMYK conversion page

However, if colour is critical, please provide a proof for us to match to — this could be a previously printed version of the job, a photograph, a print from your own printer with which you are happy, and ask for a hard copy proof. We ALWAYS recommend that clients provide proofs to match if colour is critical, and recommend that clients with colour critical job ask for a hard copy proof.

In some 25 years of pre-press experience, we have never relied on what is shown on screen. We have owned extremely expensive calibrated monitors in the past and still have no faith in anything but a CMYK breakdown for matching specific colours. Even then you need to have an accurate printed reference to match to as well — such as a Pantone Process book. There are many Pantone Books available. Customers who regularly produce colour critical work should consider purchasing a ‘PANTONE color bridge coated’ book.

Digital prints are good and getting better all the time, but when it comes to calibration ‘out of the box’ with no operator intervention we have yet to see or use one that is truly accurate. Tweaking by an operator always seems to be needed. ‘I know my Epson printer at home tends to do this . . . ’ — enough said!

Skin-tones are the worst. A few percentage points of one ink in any direction can throw the colour off altogether.

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