Fri 28th September


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Stock colours

The exact final colour of a printed document is always a top consideration here at Printworks and to achieve the best results we employ both industry standards in colour: spot and process (CMYK). CMYK is probably the widest known method of printing colour and stands for the four colours used in the process: cyan, magenta, yellow and Key (Black). An image is split into its constituent layers of CMYK, with each colour given a plate. When the paper is printed by each coloured plate in succession, the full colour image is built up. Spot colours work on a different basis. A spot colour on the other hand is a specifically mixed ink, mixed to an industry standard “recipe” provided by companies such as Pantone. A spot colour is applied to one plate, creating a solid colour print in only one pass. What is right for each customer is highly dependent on the individual piece with each method having its pros and cons:


CYMK Peacock


  • CMYK is the cheapest process, requiring a standard four inks for every job
  • It is suited to more complex imagery such as photographs
  • No special inks need to be ordered in or precisely mixed



  • As each final colour relies on the mix of only four standard inks, the range of colour is limited and certain hues such as reds or purples can lack vibrancy
  • Slight misalignments in the plates can cause coloured ‘halos’ and in the case of small type can create issues with legibility



Pantone colours


  • Spot colours are perfect for simply coloured jobs to create solid colour without the need for multiple plates
  • There is an almost unlimited range of colours, including specialist colours such as metallics, UV and fluorescents
  • The resulting colours are completely solid even under magnification
  • Spot colours are consistent in their true colour, allowing for multiple prints across multiple pieces to recreate exactly the same colour. Colours even have variations depending on whether they are being used on coated or uncoated stock to retain consistent colour. This precision can be useful when minting the strength of a brand



  • Spot colours are costly due to their tailored nature
  • Can add extra complexity to a printing job when added as an extra plate with CMYK.


Printworks Online Design Service

Need a logo? At Printworks our design team are here to help you create a suitable logo for you and your business. Printworks Online have a team of graphic designers with the design skills to translate your ideas into stunning visually effective pieces of print. We are focussed on presenting your brand to your audience in the most effective possible way. Drawing attention to your key messages and ensuring you get the return on investment on your print you require. If you would like to speak to someone about your artwork needs or for a design quotation please drop us an email: or phone: 01937 585575


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