Yup, you design a beautiful post card to promote your business and then you print it. It does not match your computer screen. You bring it to a print shop and it looks different from your ink jet and your computer screen. What the heck is going on?
Lots of stuff. Here is a list of some of the variables you are dealing with:
Your monitor has limits:
- Your monitor is limited to the number of colors it can create
- It has lots of settings that change what is displayed on the screen
- It produces colors with a light in back of the screen
- It uses a mix of Red, Green and Blue to produce the picture which is called an RGB color palette.
Your printer has limits:
- It too has a limited number of colors it can produce but it is a different palette of colors than the monitor
- It has lots of settings that change what it prints
- The colors printed are printed by ambient light bouncing off the page as opposed to being back lit
- It uses Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and black to produce its colors not RGB
Your Paper Has Limits:
- Most papers have a least a little yellow cast to them. High quality papers can be made to be a bright white. So, those colors get mixed in with the ink or toner the printer prints on the page and changes the end result
- Paper absorbs different amounts of ink or toner, so the picture may be crisp or fades. A high quality paper keeps the ink or toner on top so that the colors pop
- Paper may be matter or gloss. Each give a different look to the print
All of these variables enter into the equation of how your printed materials look.
Look for the next instalment of this article for solutions.