How Are Colours Prepared For Product Label Printing?

The use of colour is very important for product labels because it can make your product stand out on a supermarket shelf and if your branding is good, it can make your product easily recognisable just by the colour of the labels. Coca Cola’s dark red and white colours highlight its labels even more so than the actual product itself.

How are the same colours reproduced time and time again?

Well, colours in label printing are made up of a percentage mix of Cyan (a colour between green and blue), Magenta (a colour between red and blue), Yellow and Black. Refer to our logo below to see what these colours look like.

CMYK Label Printing

CMYK label printing, also known as four colour process label printing, is a process whereby all colours except white and metallic colours such as silver and gold are produced by a combination of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. The process of printing is different from painting. You can go to your local hardware store and purchase white paint but traditional offset printers only ever have four types of inks, i.e. cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

White is not actually a colour in label printing. Instead, the white label stock is not fully covered in printing so it appears as though there is white printing. There is simply an absence of printing.

Four colour process printing is produced by using four plates, one for each colour. Spot colours are produced by mixing cyan, magenta, yellow and black to produce ink in a particular spot colour. For example, a company’s logo might be red and blue, but there are so many different shades of red and blue. Printers have a Pantone Matching System (PMS) that enables specific colours to be produced. This way, exact colours can be matched by referring to a PMS colour swatch.

Our business specialises in digital label printing. Instead of plates, labels are produced directly from computer generated artwork files. However, the label will actually still be produced from a combination of Cyan, Magenta, Black and Yellow.

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