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Choose Your Colors Wisely

Branding is quite the complex procedure. It involves hours of brainstorming, designing, testing and proofing. One important aspect of this is color choice. Here is a little bit of info that might change the way you choose your colors.

A great first place to start selecting the perfect color is in your pms swatch book. You will find these colors in most of your design software too, but you always want to see the printed sample before settling on a color.

Another way of finding the perfect color is by looking at your book and then finding the CMYK values either by a color bridge or using software such as Indesign or Illustrator. But like I said above, always print it out before deciding on your color.

But here is the important fact that I wanted to make, if you choose one way over the other, the end result may not look the same. Whaaaat?

Let me break it down by showing a visual example.

The screenshot shows choosing a spot color first (143 c) and then using Indesign to convert to cymk (2.32.92.0). Looks normal right? It also looks normal if you select the same cmyk and then convert it back to the closest PMS color (which is the 2.32.92.0). But take a look at the next cmyk square below it in the same screenshot (68.61.59.46). In Photoshop, it does say that the nearest pms color is 446 c, but 446 c has more than one possible cymk build that can be associated with it. So really 70.57.61.44 is what Indesign sees as being 446 c, this is proven because if you plug in those numbers into Photoshop, 446 c also comes up.

So if you start with a PMS color, then find the cmyk build, you are more than likely to have the closest match you can have when flipping back and forth between digital and spot color printing.

So who cares?

I do, because all printers are different. On screen, 68.61.59.46 and PMS 446 c may look really close, but if you print a large solid block of each, you would notice that aren’t as close as you might have thought. 446 c has bit more green, while 68.61.59.46 is more gray.

Branding is what keeps customers coming back, they remember what they see and if things are inconsistent, they won’t want to associate your company with a previous experience that they’ve had.