Have you ever wondered why certain brands instantly catch your eye and remain etched in your memory? One reason is their consistent and reproducible use of brand colors. Think Coca-Cola Red, McDonald’s Yellow, and Facebook Blue. Whether on a direct mail piece or retail packaging, buyers recognize these brands based on color alone. Highly identifiable brand colors are a company’s most significant marketing asset.
Do you have highly identifiable brand colors? If so, how do we, as your printer, ensure that these colors are accurate and consistent from run to run?
Steps to Great Color
We start by printing to industry standards. In the commercial printing industry, these include GRACoL, SWOP, XCMYK, and for spot colors, Pantone.
The printing process is complex, however, and various factors, including the settings on the press, the base color of the substrate, and the type of inks, impact your color. It is also dependent on the printing process used. Offset, digital, and wide-format presses all reproduce color differently. To compensate for these differences, we adhere to rigorous standards, use sophisticated color management software, and employ best-in-class color measurement tools.
We measure how close we are to the target color every time your job is run, whether it’s a repeat job on the same press or a project spread across multiple presses. To do this, we use a measurement called delta E. (The word “delta” means “change.”) A delta E is the change from one color to another. If you spec a color, the difference between your proof and the final color is measured in delta Es. Although a delta E can be as small as one, the human eye has trouble distinguishing differences this small. Most customers find delta Es between two and four to be acceptable.
Consistent color also requires your files to be adequately produced. If there are errors in the file, it limits the ability of our systems to compensate. Great files in = great printing out.
Take Time to Get It Right
If you have colors that are critical to your brand identity, take the time to sit down with us and talk about them. Let’s go over your expectations and steps for proper file preparation. Working together, we can ensure that your brand colors are reproduced consistently, repeatedly, and accurately.