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For the love of colour

Over the last month, you can’t have failed to notice the word festooned with rainbow flags to mark the global Pride celebrations. Here at PMG, seeing the rainbow got us thinking about colour. The rainbow, of course, is typically represented by just seven colours (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet). However, rainbows span a continuous spectrum of colours and any distinct bands perceived are merely our eyes trying to put what they see into some order.


In printing, we can only currently recreate 65% of the colours found in the natural world. While the colour pallet we use seems fairly extensive, in fact there are over 10,000 colour standards referenced by Pantone, the printing industry is limited by the available colours of ink.


That being said, here at PMG, we’ll always strive to get your colours just right and are always looking at new technologies coming to the market that can further enhance the world of colour in your digital printing.


So, how do you make sure you get the right colours in your printed materials? First, it helps to understand the language of colour.


CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, “key” black) – also known as “four colour” or “full colour”, CMYK is the standard printing colour format. The printer will mix the four base colours to create your colour palette.


RGB (red, green, blue) – based on the human perception of colours, RGB combines different quantities of different colours of light to produce images. Used in electronics (TVs and computers) RGB is useful if your designs are going to live on the screen, but less useful for print specification. In many cases, you’ll design using RGB, so be aware of the need to convert to CMYK for printing. Any good printer can advise on this.


Pantone – since 1963, Pantone has been standardising colour by giving each one a unique number. This standardisation means the exact same colour can be recreated across textiles, clothing, beauty, interiors and any other material to provide colour consistency all over the world. For each colour, Pantone specifies the RGB and CMYK combinations to use to produce the precise shade so it’s the same each time. The latest innovation in colour is Pantone Live, a recently launched digital service that lets you store your brand colours in the cloud and guaranteeing they’ll be the same regardless of designer, material or printer.


Colour can be THE defining element of your brand. Would you recognise a Tiffany’s box if it wasn’t in its trademark blue (Pantone 1837)? Do you know something is part of the EasyJet brand when you see the distinctive orange (Pantone 021C) in the logo? Which supermarket do you think of when you see blue (Pantone 00539F) and white stripes? At PMG, we recognise the importance of making sure your colour is spot on. Let us help you take Pride in your brand.


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