Managing Color For Print
When designing for print it is imperative that your color libraries are up to date. Here are some steps you can take with your printer and creative department to verify you have the most recent updated color profiles.
Use a printed proof. With a color proof, the customer can check for changes in color. You will see what your color palette looks like in print and what colors you may need to change. This step is crucial for verifying if the color palettes look accurate because monitors do not display every color the same way that a printer can and vice versa.
It is always a good practice to keep your monitor and office printers calibrated. Ideally, calibration should be performed once a month and preferably every two weeks. There is monitor profiling software available on the market with affordable pricing.
It’s a good rule of thumb to remember that every digital device has its own color gamut with a limited range of colors. Even devices of the same make can have different gamuts. Also keep in mind that the RGB gamuts are larger than that of CMYK, so colors you can see on a monitor won’t always transfer over to print as the colors are not achievable with CMYK.
A large contributor that can affect the way color is perceived is the medium that the ink is printed on. The quality, weight, and finish of paper affects the way ink can adhere to it. For instance, if you print the same PMS tone on coated stock and uncoated stock the two swatches will look close but not exact, the reason for this is that uncoated sheet allows more ink to be absorbed into the paper because it is more absorbent than its coated counterpart.
To verify you are up to date with the latest PMS color profiles consider following the below link to the PMS Color Manager software application. Be aware that these libraries do not update on their own, I have also provided a helpful link that explains how to get the latest updated profiles:
Pantone Color Manager: https://www.pantone.com/pantone-color-manager-software
Pantone color manager: https://www.pantone.com/help/?t=How-to-Export-PANTONE-Libraries-from-PANTONE-Color-Manager
Also, check out this link to xrite to see how well you can distinguish between different hues:
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