There are a lot of factors around colour and colour matching in particular including how you have chosen your colours. If you're wondering why some of your prints have a slightly different colour variation compared to your last batch, keep reading to learn more!
Since our printing process is done with CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) and makes use of the 4 colour ink blend, products that are printed are all subject to slight colour variance.
This means that some colours in your prints may look slightly different on a large print run from the first prints compared to the last print run. It can also differ comparing the prints by batches if you have printed them by batch at separate times.
There are many recommended techniques to help minimise colour variance, but while we do our best to produce prints accurately, colour matching will always be tricky as there are many factors that we simply cannot control which also contribute to the variance in colous. (e.g Weather that may affect room temperatures which can also cause a difference in colour as ink is affected once exposed to air and different humidities.)
Examples of slight colour variations in printing
When printing the same design on two different paper types, there will most definitely be some colour variation as each stock of paper has a different and unique way of absorbing the CMYK ink.
For example, printing coloured designs on Kraft stock may look slightly lighter or darker depending on if you include our white ink process to make the colours pop. Printing on gloss stock increasses the chances of higher hue saturation of the colours. On the other hand uncoated or recycled stocks tend to darken or desaturate final colours.
Please ensure to keep these in mind when choosing which stock to print on as it plays an important role in the colour variation of your prints.
Kraft, Gloss Coated & Uncoated
Similar to the paper types factor, laminated finishes can greatly impact the final colour outcome of your prints.
Your target colour could have been a light baby pink but since it included a lamination process it resulted in your finished prints coming out as a few shades darker. This is not always the case with all colours. Sometimes the laminations depending on which you choose (gloss or matt) could saturate or desaturate your colours.
To sum it all up
We produce your products through CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) process printing which makes use a 4 colour ink blend, as a result of a number of technical reasons and manufacturer tollerances all printed products produced through CMYK process are all subject to slight colour variance throughout a run and especially from job to job.
We are here to help you as much as we can however as mentioned there are a variety of factors like wear and tear on press components, paper stocks, laminations, temperature in the building, that could possibly result in these slight colour differences as well.
While there is no guarantee of colour matching from job to job in full colour process printing. We have been recently working with Ricoh on the digital front end of the digital press on different stock profiles to ensure more consistent results for your accurate printing needs.
The only way to get away from this colour variation and to virtually guarantee 100% colour accuracy is to go through a spot colour screen printing process, however we don't offer this solution as we have found over the years that 99.5% of our clients find this process cost prohibitive for short runs in our experience.