Printing Preferences: Pantone Colors Vs. CMYK

Graphic Design Printing

Printing Preferences: Pantone Colors Vs. CMYK

Want to captivate customers with high-quality color when printing marketing pieces for your business? You’ll need to know what printing method to use and the differences between these processes. Here’s how to decide if the Pantone Matching System (PMS) or the CMYK process best suits your project’s needs.

Pantone and CMYK: Defining the Processes

The CMYK printing process, also known as four-color printing, combines the colors cyan, magenta, yellow, and black to create a variety of new colors. This process uses four plates to recreate the image with a mixture of tiny dots. Often, this process is used for inkjet printers at home or in the office.

The Pantone Matching System uses predetermined formulas to produce a wide range of ink colors. These standardized colors are given a number and can be consistently reproduced no matter which printer you use. The PMS system is also known as spot color printing.

Which Process Is Right for Your Project?

In order to choose the right process for the job, it helps to know how they differ from each other. One of the main differences is precision, or how close the color printed matches the one created when the original piece was designed. For the best accuracy, the universal pantone system creates color consistently from one printer to the next. This is important for printing branded materials such as logos. If your logo stays consistent from one marketing piece to another, it’s better for building brand recognition.

So then, why not use pantone colors all the time? Using PMS colors requires certain fees for mixing ink and setting up the plates, which increases the printing costs. Besides being more budget friendly, only CMYK is compatible with the RGB color model. This online color model is used in electronic designs, and although it’s not used for printing, it is often converted to CMYK when a piece needs to go from screen to paper. It’s also important to note that there are some colors that can’t be created with CMYK.

Let Us Help You Choose Between Pantone and CMYK

There are several factors to consider when choosing a printing process, and it can be very confusing. In summary, pantone printing produces more accurate colors, but usually costs more. The CMYK four- color process is more cost effective and works well for jobs that don’t require exact colors. Let the experts at Disc Hounds help you make the right choice between pantone printing and CMYK. Call us today at 610-696-8668.

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