Important notes on color (CMYK, PMS, RGB, etc.)

  • We produce our color separations using a standard SWOP profile. We will then match SWOP densities within a reasonable tolerance.
  • In order for us to print in "full color" the graphics need to be in CMYK process color at the proper resolution. Spot color jobs must be separated properly.
  • Please don't be upset when we tell you your graphics won't/didn't print correctly because they were designed in RGB colors which don't convert well to CMYK, or because your images have too low of resolution, because they came from a website or were made solely for online viewing.
  • If you are using a Pantone swatch book to choose your color for spot color jobs, please realize that PMS swatch books are split between how a PMS color will look on an uncoated paper and a coated paper. Hence the "U" or the "C" after the PMS number. Many other factors affect how the colors will look on a finished printed piece. These variables are found at the beginning section of the Pantone book.
  • Pantone spot colors are not always simulated in CMYK closely. CMYK printed on an uncoated paper versus a coated paper will also produce visual differences. You must realize that the colors on your screen may or may not match those on paper. We recommend the use of Pantone Color Bridge swatches to see the solid to process simulation differences.
  • If you are sensitive to the accuracy of your file's color you should refer to the appropriate Pantone swatch book. If you are referencing a Pantone swatch book, please read the front pages' cautions and variables. Even though you have the numbers plugged into the program, and the color is separated correctly, there are many factors which affect the final printed color.
  • RGB, PMS spot colors, and indexed colors must all be converted to CMYK for full color printing.
  • Not all RGB or PMS spot colors have good CMYK simulations, because the color spectrum of 4-color process printing (CMYK) is different than that of the RGB and PMS spot colors. Below is a graphical representation of the different spectrums. The "web" looking spectrum is the process spectrum, the "triangle" represents the RGB spectrum, and the rest is the visual spectrum that our eyes can see in nature. PMS spot colors also have their own unique shape inside the visual spectrum. What this all means is that starting with a color in one spectrum and trying to move it to a different spectrum does not always produce desirable results.


  •