Consistent Colors for Brands – Printing Labels Using Spot Colors

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Spot colors on custom labels

Color plays an important role in how we perceive and remember a brand (think Coca-Cola Red, IBM Blue, Gatorade Orange, and much more). If the colors on your product labels don’t match your brand or vary from product to product, your brand value can suffer. Spot color printing helps brand owners get accurate and consistent color matches on labels since it’s more reliable than standard ‘4 color process’ printing. Learn more about spot color printing and how you can ensure your brand colors look how they’re supposed to on your custom printed labels.

What Is 4 Color Process and Spot Color Printing?

Spot color printing is used when one or more colors need to be matched and reproduced consistently for a logo, graphic, or special design element. Spot color inks can accurately reproduce colors that are outside the gamut of ‘4 color process’ colors (CMYK = cyan, magenta, yellow, and ‘key’ black).

4 color process printing builds colors by applying layers of CMYK inks to achieve full-color printing results, but slight variations in color can occur which is why spot colors are used for critical color matches. If a spot color is used along with 4 color process printing, then a standard four color print job becomes a five or six color job.

How Do I Determine My Spot Colors?

To create spot color inks, we use the Pantone® Matching System (PMS), a standardized color reproduction system. With standardized colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to ensure colors match without direct contact with one another. If you don’t have your PMS color, you can research online using the Pantone color finder. It’s important to note, however, that digital color simulations aren’t a completely accurate representation of the physical Pantone Color Standards due to variations in screens.

There are several ways to ensure you have the right PMS color like using Pantone’s formula guide, speaking with a Pantone product expert, or converting a CMYK color to the closest Pantone color using Adobe Illustrator – something our pre-press artists can do when preparing your label artwork for printing. With your PMS color, getting an exact color match on your custom labels is a whole lot easier.

GMI certified printer

Where Can I Get Spot Color Printing For My Labels?

Right here – and we’re a GMI certified printer too! Graphics Measure International (GMI) is a global packaging leader that certifies, monitors, and measures the performance of packaging suppliers. The GMI certification helps product owners identify label and package printing companies that adhere to high standards for color reproduction.

As a GMI certified printer, we continually measure color samples from our flexographic and digital presses against the tolerances of a finely calibrated spectrodensitometer and provide random samples throughout press runs to verify that vendor requirements are met. By adhering to these tight guidelines, we’re able to ensure consistent color quality within a production run and on re-orders of the same item. We also apply these guidelines when a customer has multiple items in a production run and need to have consistent color from item to item.

Not only do we understand the importance of having a consistent brand image, we have the tools and experience to achieve an exact color match with spot color printing. Contact us today to get started on your spot color labels!