Color Printing Tips

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What are some types of color printing?

Types of Color Printing

There are a few different types of color printing available to choose from when looking for color prints. Spot color printing is a type of color printing that involves using an ink color in a single run. These prints are generally used when making a color item such as a letterhead, where there are usually just one or two colors used. The primary systems that are used to choose a spot color are known as Pantone, DIC, Toyo and ANPA, and each system uses a different classification system to assign names to specific colors. Full color printing is another option, usually performed on an offset press. Other types of color printing include inkjet prints (inkjet printers use a combination of colored ink to create a full range of colors) and color copiers (which use a range of colored toner powders to create a full range of colors).

Should I set my default print option for color printing?

Color Printing Set As Your Default? Save Your Ink

Do you do a lot of printing from your home computer? If so, you know how expensive ink can be. There are ways to cut down on how often you need to refresh your supply, and switching your default print setting off of color printing is a great way to start.

The ‘default print setting' in your word processing programs, or directly on your printer, is a set of parameters with which your printer will perform jobs. Most times, when you first install a printer or now program, color printing is the option that the manufacturer sets as the initial, or default, setting.

Most print jobs do not require color. For most documents, black and white will do. Your printer will print according to the settings, so if you don't want to waste your color printing cartridge, be sure to select black and white before you start your print.

Nothing eats through printer ink like unnecessary color printing. Even if what you are printing has no colors besides black, your printer will still use your color printing cartridge unless you change the setting. Don't forget next time.

Should I restrict color printing in my office?

Office Use of Color Printing

As any office manager or business operator can tell you, printing costs can be a large expense. Too often, workers forget that the printer is meant for, and paid for by, office work. One way to better control your printing costs is to restrict color printing abilities from certain employees.

Many employees certainly need color printing for sales proposals, design specs, and the like. However, many do not need color printing for their official work, and if they ever use it is for personal. Restricting color printing is easy with any networked printing system. If you have a network administrator who handles this type of issue, consult with them about instituting more control over who can use color printing and who cannot.

This small effort may end up saving you from unnecessary color printing, which leads to less purchasing of ink or toner. Don't waste where you could be saving.

What is full color printing?

What is Full Color Printing?

Full color printing is the process of using inks to reproduce an image in true color instead of black and white. Full color printing is also known as CMYK printing, or four color process printing. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black (K is the abbreviation for black), and these are the four colors that are used in various mixes and patterns to create the full color printing effect. Recently, a new addition to full color printing has been six color process printing, which adds the colors of orange and green to the cyan, magenta, yellow and black. This allows for a fuller gamut, or color range, and is used in some specialty printing, especially those that use the Hexachrome system. Typically, however, the CMYK system of full color printing is used – even in reproducing photographs and true to life graphics.

Can I print in full color on my homemade CDs and DVDs?

Full Color Printing on CDs and DVDs

As common as creating your own CDs and DVDs have become, there have been equal enhancements in printing labels for your custom multimedia. Beyond the labels that you can buy and stick onto your creations, there is now, also, full color printing through direct transfer and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Many printer manufacturers have now introduced personal thermal printers for full color printing on CDs and DVDs, specifically. These machines from companies such as Primedia, are not as expensive as you may think and make a final product comparable with any production company.

If you enjoy making your own music or video and want the complete package, look into these personal, full color printing packages. The quality is outstanding and there is no more worrying about getting that sticker on just right.

Will my printed piece look exactly like it does on my computer monitor

Finished Colors Vs. Computer Monitor Colors

There are some small differences between what you see on your computer screen and what your finished product will look like. Scanners and digital cameras create images using combinations of just three colors: Red, Green and Blue (called "RGB"). These are the colors that computers use to display images on your screen. But printing presses print full color pictures using a different set of colors: Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black (called "CMYK").

At some stage your RGB file must be translated to CMYK in order to print it on a printing press. This is easily done using an image editing program like PhotoShop or Corel PhotoPaint. It's best if you do the RGB-to-CMYK conversion of your images yourself. You will have more control over the appearance of your printed piece if you convert all of the images from RGB to CMYK before sending them.

What are Pantone colors in color printing?

Pantone and Color Printing

Pantone color is a color matching system that was developed in the 1960's for the printing industry. It allows printers (as well as designers) to choose colors from a prearranged palette, and then use this colors knowing that they will translate the same on any printer or press. Pantone allows those in the color printing field to either mix inks directly (as in spot color) or on the printed page (as in four color process printing) to match a Pantone color (known by its number). Pantone swatch cards allow designers to choose a color and use that in their design, and each Pantone color has its CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) equivalent proportions listed on its swatch, so that printers can recreate the color correctly. Pantone colors are a great way to make sure that your idea of a color and the color that is printed match.

Will the spectrum ever increase for color printing?

Even More Color? Advances in Color Printing

Traditional color printing has been limited by the number of colors available in the print process. We have all seen the four-color system that is in use in most home and office printers. Today, however, amazing things are on the brink of color printing.

With new six- and seven-color printing processes, called hexachromatic and hifi color printing, these advances in color printing have expanded the range of colors available on the printed page by producing images printed with more than the conventional four colors of the CMYK process. With these expanded ink colors, printing on paper can exceed the expectations of most viewers.

It goes without saying that printing in six or seven colors requires a more complex color separation process and a seven-color printing process, but the results are impressive. Soon, more printers will carry these capabilities, so keep your eye out for this, and other advances in color printing technology.

Why four color printing? (CMYK)

CMYK Printing

Four color process is a system where a color image is separated into 4 different color values by the use of filters and screens (usually done digitally). The result is a color separation of 4 images that when transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press with the colored inks cyan (blue), magenta (Red), yellow and black, reproduces the original color image.

Unlike inkjet printers or color photocopiers, full color (C-M-Y-K) printing provides accurate, detailed, brilliant reproduction of your originals at a low cost-per-sheet. Look at any magazine cover (Time, People, National Geographic) for an example of 4-color process printing.

*This is the kind of printing found at "commercial printers", not your local quick-printer shop.

What is full color printing?

Full Color Printing Defined

Printing terminology gets complicated when you get into bulk, professional printing services. With all of your choices, knowing the right direction takes knowledge of this terminology. If you are looking for full color printing, let me help you understand what it is you are looking for.

As opposed to black and white printing, full color printing uses four standard colors. These are yellow, cyan (a color between blue and green), magenta, and black. These first three colors are complementary to hues of red, blue, and green. By layering these colors on top on one another, you can create colors from an enormous spectrum. Hence the term, ‘full color printing'.

Black is still used in full color printing because, well, black is still a color. Most color prints contain at least some black needed. I hope that this helped you understand full color printing a little better, but there is much more to know. Consult with a professional printing company for advice on how you can find the right full color printing choices for you.

How much more expensive is full color printing?

Costs of Full Color Printing

When people are looking to create new marketing materials for their business, decisions have to be made to help stay within budget. The choice to go with full color printing is one that will increase your cost, but will give your materials an edge that only comes with full color printing.

Most companies want to stand out from the rest through innovation and image. Full color printing of your materials, proposals, and other distributed goods will make your costs go up as much as 50%. These increases are, of course, based on other factors as well. Bulk full color printing will be far less with the more prints you order.

If you are looking for full color printing but are worried about the pricing, don't. Consult a printing company that can provide you with full color printing for you next set of materials and you will be provided with a quote so that you know exactly what the costs are and if they work within your budget. We live in a color world; don't present your business as black and white.

How does four color printing work?

Four Color Printing

Four color printing, also known as full color printing, uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) inks to produce a full range of colors on a printed item. Prints are made using 4 color printing services by a process of separations. Separations are created, usually digitally, by pulling out each of the different colors of ink and highlighting them. For instance, in a photograph, in order to obtain the separations needed to guide the 4 color printing, the pigments of CMYK will be depicted on four distinct images (one each for cyan, magenta, yellow and black). These distinct images, sent via digital file to the printing press, will allow the printer to interpret where the ink should be laid down and in what quantities in order to reproduce the full color image. Separations used to have to be made using a series of cameras and lenses, but today's digital programs allow for the creation of these guides right within the software.

How do I change my setting so that it prints the right color?

Printing in Color or Black and White

Setting, setting, setting is the key to printing desired resolutions. Before you print, make sure the followings are in order: Page set-up, Background Color, Desired color; Black & white or color. These menus can be found on the Print window that usually pops up when you click on print. Print-Preview is another way to make sure your printing comes out in the desired color. Whether you are printing a job you created yourself or one created somewhere else, the key to getting the desired resolution or color, is to do your own setting before you print. Sometimes, when you print a job from the network or local, the job comes in specific settings. Unless these settings are locked, you can change them to your own. It's very easy to neglect settings and previewing a job before printing, yet it's the best bet.

How can I save money on color printing?

Saving Money on Color Printing

Full color printing can be a great tool to promote your business or company. Unfortunately, it is not inexpensive – in fact, it can be quite pricey depending on the number of items you need to get printed and the type of items you are printing. There are some ways to cut back on the cost of color printing, however, and the first way is to search for a good professional printer. Online color printers are often able to offer the cheapest prices on full color printing, and may also have sales and other promotions to bring down the price. Another tip is to use full color printing as an accent to your printed piece – you can save money by just printing the cover and a few graphics in color for a proposal or catalog, and just printing the text portions in black and white. Using color as an eye-catching accent can be a great way to save versus printing the entire job in color.

How can I have color printing at home?

Color Printing at Home

Many smaller businesses or home users would like to make color prints, but don't have the need or the money for a professional printer. Today, home color printing is cheaper than ever - with color inkjet printers often costing less than $75. Home color printing is based on the same four color process that professional printing is – just on a smaller scale and at a lower resolution. Cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) inks are used in combination on an inkjet printer, and are sprayed onto the paper in a dot pattern. The overlaying dots combine to make a full color spectrum, but they are not as accurate as other printing methods. This explains why inkjet prints at home sometimes do not match the original. Inkjet color printing is still a great resource for small amounts of color prints and for a low cost way to make just a few color prints at a time.

How can I find color printing services?

Finding Color Printing Services

Color printing services have become easier to find in recent years, but there are a few things to consider before choosing a professional printer. First of all, if you need to have full color printing done (as opposed to spot color of just one or two inks), you'll need to find a printer that uses the four color process in order to faithfully reproduce your images. Most four color (full color) printers offer offset printing, which involves the use of inks and a printing press in order to create your document. Four color printing can be more expensive than some other methods of printing, so price items online and in person before choosing a printer to handle your job. Online color printing services are often cheaper than their brick and mortar counterparts, because of the large volume of prints they handle, and the lower overhead of not having a physical store to run.

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Joe Wallace