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06/01/2022 Quoc Anh Bui

Print Colours

understanding labels

4 colour process (CMYK):

      • A process similar to photography whereby the image is made by layering 4 colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black).
      • The final result can be stunning images but specific colour matching is more difficult and not guaranteed in terms of consistency between runs or for spot or PMS colours.


Digital print:
All digital printing is 4 colour process (CMYK). Digital Print is based on minimum 300dpi resolution and is not suitable for all applications or artwork. Where necessary a trial or sample should be printed for approval.


Spot (PMS) colours:

      • Spot colours are specific or nominated colours chosen from a PMS colour chart.
      • PMS stands for Pantone Matching System and means that colours are specifically matched to a colour standard printed on the charts.
      • There are some variations in colour depending upon the substrate or face stock being printed on and/or the finish of the label – but generally there is a strong consistency for colour standards.
      • For company logos where colour is critical a PMS colour would be chosen. PMS or spot colours are usually chosen as an option for labels where only 1-3 colours are chosen. Spot colours can be added to labels with 4 colour process images as well.


Inkjet/digital proofs:

      • All digital proofs (particularly when viewed on a computer screen) are representational only. Colours vary from screen to screen and a PMS book should always be consulted to confirm the actual colour that will be printed.
      • An inkjet proof can be provided for 4 Colour Process labels (at a nominal cost) to obtain a closer representation.