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​What is CMYK or full colour sticker printing?

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By David Willis 30 July 2018 No comments

What is CMYK or full colour sticker printing?

We often are asked to supply quotes with reference made to the artwork being printed in CYMK, or Full Colour printing.

So what’s the difference between CYMK and Full colour printing?…it’s a very simple answer, there isn’t one, it’s just two ways of describing the same thing!

However…

‘Full Colour’ is how some would describe a piece of print, that isn’t necessarily a ‘full colour’ print.

It may well be printed in what are described as spot colours, pantone colours or pms individually matched colours.

The term ‘CYMK’ is an abbreviation of ‘Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and blacK’, which are the four colours used in the 4 colour process printing process. From these four transparent colours, virtually any colours can be made.

So, following this logic, you could actually print a nice rich bright colour, in either a colour of ink mixed like paint in a tin, or by printing varying degrees of the 4 colour process colours, to make what looks to the naked eye as the blue colour you hope for.

The big difference in printing terms, is that the first method is a single colour print job…the second method makes it a four colour process job.

The end result might look similar, but as far as producing the job goes, the one colour job will be far cheaper than the four colour version to produce.

The old adage that ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ couldn’t be more applicable to print, and in many cases expense could be saved…if only more accurate detail was available to quote against!

Desk top printers that we all have sat on our desks now make the printing of our photographs, email attachments etc on paper so simple.

Print copy-shops, and other small scale printers, can very easily print off a few leaflets, posters or business cards on a scaled up version of a desk top printer.

However, not all ordering of print…and especially when you move away from basic paper, is quite that simple.

Your printer can only give you an estimate, or quote for a job, based on the information you provide. Some well meaning print-buyers give descriptions and specifications for jobs that can only be described as ‘open to interpretation’ at best!

Here’s an example of a scenario that is all too common:

Customer: ‘Please can you quote me for 5,000 stickers, printed in full colour, on white self-adhesive vinyl. Size A4?’

Us: ‘No problem…could we just clarify what the design looks like please? It’ll make the price more accurate for you. Perhaps you could email us the artwork over to have a quick look at?’

Customer: ‘Of course…as I say, it’s full colour. I’ll send the artwork now’

Us: ‘Many thanks for sending the design over…are the stickers only to be printed in blue & red, like the artwork…and not full colour?

Customer; ‘Yes, that’s right…full colour…red and blue’

Unfortunately in a case like this, unless time is taken to help guide the customer through the various possibilities of print production, the quoted price may be far more than it needed to be.

At Edge Stickers, we have various methods of producing virtually every description of printed self adhesive vinyl sticker.

We’ll work with you to go the extra mile to ensure that we choose the correct print process for your work, and it’s end use.

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Last Update: 30 July 2018

Publisher: Edge Stickers