Why is the colour of my logo different on screen than when it is printed?

We understand that you have spent a lot of time and effort fine-tuning your artwork to get it looking just right, however it is important to understand that what you see on screen, in terms of colour and tone, will likely appear differently when printed.

What you see on your HDTV, computer monitor, smart phone or tablet is an RGB display. The letters RGB stand for the colours that are used to display the image on your screen: Red, Green and Blue. The pixels in your screen blend those three colours of light together to achieve the resulting myriad of tones, shades and hues you enjoy. Because the colours are made from combined light, all three together make white. On the other hand, the absence of each colour means no light, and, you guessed it—black!

Alternatively, the output of most inkjet printers and digital copiers is referred to as CMYK, which represents the colour pallet they use to render images: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK. With most printers, white is derived by the paper itself, while black is either black ink, or the combination of all of the colours.

Currently, there is no definitive way to ensure exact colour matching between all screens and printers, however there are some tips to help make things a bit less difficult when setting up your artwork / screen imagery to coincide with printed media:

  • If you need exact colour matching for logos or branding, use Pantone®
  • If your main concern is a wonderful printed project, do not worry about what you see on screen. Ensure you are supplying us with the best quality artwork / logo files that you can, and trust that we will reproduce them beautifully.
  • Talk to us first. We understand colour and can help you determine the best colour options for the type of work you are printing.

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