Good color management involves color transmission, display, and reproduction across devices for quality and accurate designs, which is a key part of offset printing. Ideally, an offset printer should deliver results without color shifts, variations, and inaccuracies. This is achievable with these four color management tips.
- Use CMYK over RGB
Since printing is associated with complex projects and large-scale production, you should be using the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black/Key) color model rather than the RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) color model. This is because while RGB uses light for color creation in digital media, CMYK uses ink, which makes it easy to produce files in print media.
during the printing process, the CMYK colors combine in varying degrees using physical ink in the subtraction technique, which entirely or partially masks colors on a lighter background(casually white) to give you the desired color.
- Choose Color Profile That Matches Your Offset Printer
Color profiles are parameters that define how your end product will look like. So, choosing a color profile that matches your printer’s capabilities and specifications would be best. Since offset printers have different color limitations and capabilities, you need to select the color profile in your offset printer.
For example, while a monitor has millions of colors while using RGB, a printer only prints a limited number of colors using CMYK. If you fail to use the correct settings and color profiles, the colors you see on the monitor won’t match the colors on the prints. This can result in poor contrast, unwanted color shifts, and loss of details, which you won’t like.
- Calibrate Your Monitor and Printer
Calibration is fine-tuning and adjusting a device to ensure consistent and accurate results. It’s the paramount way of color management, and given that the monitor has a say in color gamut, tonal gradations, and product uniformity, you should ensure you calibrate your monitor and printer regularly.
Some monitors come with an inbuilt measurement device that helps automate their calibration. All you need is to initiate the monitor calibration process. Others lack these inbuilt calibrators, in such a case, you only need to use the spectrophotometer and colorimeter to measure the monitor and printer output and adjust the settings to match a reference standard. Remember, printer color calibration is also necessary for maintaining consistent, accurate, and repeatable colors for offset printing.
- Review Physical Proof
You cannot print without physical proof of the original design. This involves counter-checking your design’s color, alignment, and quality before sending it for production. It also inhibits the production of images that are different from monitor images. If the display image doesn’t match the printed image, you need to readjust by choosing the color profile and calibrating your monitor and printer to get accurate and consistent designs.
In conclusion, color management is vital in maintaining color accuracy from design throughout the printing process to the final printed product. You undoubtedly get consistent, accurate, and predictable end product with it. Due to the recent increase in brands and customers having many choices, it’s important to have quality products as a way of maintaining customers.