Colour Matching – Why doesn’t the colour on a mug match the colour on a sticker?

colour matching

Full or four colour printing – CMYK- RGB

Do you remember mixing colours at school? I loved seeing things change and I am sure we all remember that red and yellow makes orange, yellow and blue makes green and a favourite of mine is blue and red makes purple. Four colour printing works in a similar way. Base colour inks are mixed together to make other colours – only unlike school the percentage colour to colour ratio is very precise. The four colour printing process produces an amazing array of colours – almost everyone you can imagine. With modern digital print methods the cost of this process has reduced dramatically particularly for small quantities or items that require variable data. The reason is it called four colour process is because it uses four basic colours to create all the other colours. These four colours are often referred to as CMYK which represents Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. The process itself uses a series of dots of colour – in fact if you look at a printed item under a magnifying glass you can see the tiny dots or colour. The system works by overlapping these colours via a series of dotes in different concentrations. If you have ever seen a Pantone reference book you will see the amazing number of colour and shade variations that are available through this method of printing. Having said that one thing that any print buyer needs to remember is that ink behaves differently on different mediums. Process for printing on different mediums results in slight variations of colour so colour matching is key to getting consident results for an integrated campaign. Modern printing process allow for in production adjustment so almost exact colour matching is possible. The technicians who operate the printers are experts in getting the right mix to get the perfect results. TIP:  If you are creating a campaign that has many different elements it is often recommended that you choose the element that gives the best colour match to your brand and ask all other suppliers to match as closely to that item as possible.