Guidelines: Color Matching

 

Our goal is to provide consistent, predictable output and print your files as you have created them.


We use an ICC color managed workflow with custom output profiles for all media and printers. If your

files include embedded source profiles we honor them. If they do not, we assign our defaults of U.S.

Web Coated (SWOP) v2 for CMYK, ColorMatch RGB for RGB, and Dot Gain 20% for grayscale. We

assume that you have worked with a calibrated monitor and ICC compliant software and that you have

adjusted/selected the colors as you intend them to print. We do not adjust your files to “improve” the

color as our goal is accurate color, not pleasing color.


You can use CMYK, RGB, and Grayscale color modes individually or combined in the same document. If

you are printing the same color in both raster and vector components be sure to use the same color

mode for both.


Pantone swatch books are commonly used to specify colors but Pantone spot colors were developed for

offset printing using custom inks for each color. They are made from inks with a wide range of vivid

pigments and many do not reproduce well in the four color process ink printing we use. If you have a

printed swatch book that shows both the spot color ink and the CMYK equivalent we are frequently

closer to the spot swatch then the offset printing CMYK swatch. Metallic spot colors will not have a

metallic look, but will have a similar hue. If you use Pantone colors, select them from the swatch lists in

your applications and leave them as spot colors, without modifying the names. Our software looks for

the named spot colors and can match them more closely then when working from the CMYK mix.

 

Proofing: Unlike offset printing where hundreds or thousands or more copies are printed it is not

practical to produce a full size proof print for a final run of one or two. If you are unsure how your files

will print we can print a reduced size test print or full size strip of a section of your print. The charge for

this varies depending on the size of your order and will add additional time to your job.