One of the most frequent issues we encounter when setting up client files for printing is color matching. Due to the number of unique output devices, substrates, methods, and any combination of the three, there can be significant differences in results. CEC adheres to a “pleasing color” standard. We cannot guarantee that the finished piece will exactly match your printed sample, but we will make every effort to create an attractive, professional grade digital print.

The common cause for inaccurate color matching is the method in which the files were originally set up. It is always best to start the design in the size, resolution, and color modes in which they will ultimately be output. For an on-screen presentation, RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is the best as monitors output color using this light-based method. For printing, CMYK builds are preferred as most printers use Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Blank inks/toners. Spot colors, such as those in the Pantone Matching System, are typically best for offset printing where the specific colors used in the file are the actual inks used in the printing process. CEC’s digital press can match some spot colors, but it is always best to check with us in advance to see if the colors used in your project fall within the range our press can recreate.

Probably the most important thing to keep in mind when creating a file for digital color printing is to be consistent. If you have already started setting up a file using RGB images, try to keep using RGB images. Files with a mix of CMYK and RGB builds are the most difficult to color match. At that point, the client often has to decide which elements they want to be the most accurate.

As always, we are willing to work with our clients to reach a pleasing result. One benefit of our digital printing process versus traditional offset printing is that we will proof your project on the same press it will ultimately run on. So the proof you receive will often be an accurate representation of the final piece. If you do require a precise color match, please contact a client service representative to arrange for a digital color proof.

For more information on color matching, please visit our Knowledge page.

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