Pre-Press and Colour Management

Whatever the size of your order, the colours you choose for your design are essential, because the colours help to define your brand and will impact the design’s appeal.

Pre pressK

The importance of colours

Whatever the size of your order, the colours you choose for your design are essential, because the colours help to define your brand and will impact the design’s appeal.

Like all of the best printers, we have invested heavily in technologies to ensure your colours are accurate and consistent throughout the print run, and across all print runs.

The first place this starts is in the artwork studio. At Mercian Labels, our software will automatically check the size, shape and file structure of your supplied artwork. Our workflow will automatically check pdfs and convert then to ISO standard before adding your requested cutter guide with bespoke radius corners and ellipses. Our workflow will also create an RGB softproof for you to check before signing off for production. At the same time, our workflow produces a Forgra39L standard, print ready file, ready for the substrate your label is destined for.

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Colour Management (Complicated but important!)

In addition to artwork pre-press, it is vital that colours are reproduced accurately, in relation to the artwork, and in relation to previous batches. Did you know that colour experts say you can never truly match a colour? Strictly, this is true, but we can’t really notice it because the colour variances are too small to see with the human eye.

We use FOGRA39L to compare colours. This system was developed not from direct measurements of prints, but on the results of smoothing of multiple measurements to ensure a better reproduction target. In other words, minute adjustments of the CMYK output may be made to better represent the target colour depending on the press, the material you are printing on, or even the light under which the colour is viewed.

Colours look very different across different computer screens, under different lights, or even in rooms with different decorative colour schemes. We can match our colours to suit your environment.

Digital label printing uses ‘four colour process’ colours, by building colours from dots of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black), or CMYK. White is also used, most often to produce an under-layer when printing on clear materials, to enable the colours to stand out more. (More and more printing is done on clear materials, to allow the product inside the packaging to be seen).

Flexographic printing, using more traditional printing plates and wet inks, has the advantage of being able to readily use inks made up to a precise pantone colour.

Help us to help you

Artwork is best designed in CMYK and in a vector graphics programme such as Adobe illustrator because this system can easily be used on either digital or flexo formats depending on run length.

Remember to tell us what the labels will be used for. We can then ensure the best finish, and help you decide on the right laminates, varnishes and materials or inks that can resist UV fading or chemical or moisture attack where necessary.

Don’t forget a white underlay to your design if you are using a clear material unless you are sure you want a more transparent appearance to your colours.

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