Color is crucial for brand recognition, and as a result, all types of commercial printing falls under close scrutiny—will the blue, light green, or hot pink in your design file translate 100% to your finished packaging?
The short answer is that printing professionals can get very close, but an exact match to a particular shade is not really possible, even with technicians who have decades of experience. The reason? It comes down to different mediums and processes.
Design files versus printed boxes:
Computers use an RGB (Red-Green-Blue) color scheme and project light through pixels, which create the colors you see on the monitor. On the other hand, your finished packaging is printed using CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-blacK) ink on opaque paper. Because of the different color modes used and because printers cannot replicate the emitted light effect seen with computer files, the packaging you get may be slightly different than what you see from your computer screen—typically, the colors will be a bit darker.
Product labels versus printed boxes:
Product labels are done with a different printing process and different inks than our litho offset printing. In addition, they are done on blank labeling material, which is also very different than the “cardstock” material used to make your custom packaging. Due to the lack of common materials and processes, it is extraordinarily difficult (some professional printers would even say impossible) to match a certain color on your packaging to a finished label or vice versa, and it’s extremely common to see product boxes or counter displays that differ slightly in color from the labels used.
So what is there to do? Don’t despair! If color consistency is especially crucial for you (due to having built up an extensive product line, for example), simply let us know which areas are of highest concern and we’ll modify the color profiles in your design file until we get a very close match you’re satisfied with. Another solution is to include Pantone colors in your design, which offers more color consistency, particularly across different print batches (at an extra cost). In either case, we always have highly experienced professionals overseeing every round of printing to monitor for color consistency and coordinate color modifications if necessary.
Although getting a precise match with a digital file or a product label is all but impossible even with very seasoned printing experts, solutions are available to achieve as close of a match as possible. So if you admit to being slightly fanatical about detail, you’re in good company!
Curious to know more about getting your custom packaging printed? Come say hello at email@example.com!