Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Blog, Technical information | 0 comments

Printing ink colours

In general printing machines today can closely match computer generated colour files.

You may hear the term “process colours” these are the four colours that all printing presses use whether they are lithographic or digital machines. With these industry standard inks and tonors printers can produce the full range of colours for full colour work .

The four colours used for full colour or process work used by all printers are:


When ordering print you may be asked by the printer for a Pantone colour reference – these are standard colours normally in swatch form, and can be supplied by the printer.

Note: When Pantone colours are specified and the printer is using a digital press or printing the colour using the four process colours, it is more difficult to match the specified Pantone reference and may not be an exact match.

It is often the case that corporate or house colours are made up from Pantone colour references. So, when printing a brochure for example, it may require the printing of Pantone colours (specials or spot colours) as well as the four process colours to achieve the required result.

But beware!

When pantone colours are printed onto a coated surface the colour is generally brighter than a non coated surface such as offset or bond papers.

There are two Pantone variants:

U after the number = Uncoated Paper/board
C after the number = Coated paper/board

i.e. Pantone red 032c = coated
Pantone red 032u = uncoated

Guide to printers colours

Another abbreviation that is used when specifying Pantone colour references is PMS which is short for Pantone Matching System.

To be sure that the print colour is exactly what you ordered, ask the printer to supply a “machine matched digital proof ” before printing.

If you would like any further information regarding this article or any other aspect of the printing processes we would welcome your enquiry at:

Next month – How to order self adhesive labels on-reel and all the mysteries of adhesives and face materials explained.


Get the Facebook Likebox Slider Pro for WordPress