Blacks & Blues


The blues…

Some of the hardest colors to match going from RGB to CMYK are blues. Blues in RGB on your screen have a tendency to print with more magenta ink and will appear more purple than blue. A general guideline is the lighter the blue, the more purple it gets. For example, a blue gradient that starts with a deep blue will more than likely start to turn purple as it gets lighter.

there are some methods available to color manage and control the desired printed result. Professional designers, printers and pre press companies use a solid to process color matching system called PMS (Pantone Matching System) to do this. For those people that are familiar with PMS or would like to use PMS solid to process matching here are some “safe” process blue color values that print with less magenta:

  • 192-1, 196-1 to 227-1
  • 197-2 to 227-2
  • 214-3 to 227-3
  • 211-4 to 227-4
  • 211-5 to 227-5
  • 211-6 to 213-6, 218-6 to 227-6
  • 211-7 to 213-7, 218-7 to 227-7
  • 211-8 to 213-8, 218-8 to 227-8
  • 211-9 to 213-9, 218-9 to 227-9

Note: the Pantone matching system only applies to solid color blues and not to blue images.

The blacks…

Sometimes solid blocks of black ink can be printed with all four process colors (CMYK) or with black and another color to get a desired affect. These color blacks are called “rich blacks”. We strongly recommend that customers contact us about the use of “rich blacks” (typically set CMYK values to: C:60, M:60, Y:40, K:100) in digital print work. 100% offset Black is CMYK values: C:0, M:0, Y:0, K:100. Small Type Fonts in either offset or digital should always be set to C:0, M:0, Y:0, K:100 to avoid halo effects.