Printing is an essential and complex part of the graphic design process, as it is responsible for translating a design from its original form into a physical reality. In order to ensure that a print accurately reflects the original design, a number of factors must be taken into account, including color.
While color may seem like a straightforward concept, it is actually quite complex, and even small variations can have a big impact on the final print. This is why achieving accurate color reproduction is one of the most challenging aspects of printing.
There are many reasons why the color deviation is unavoidable in printing. We are going to look at some of the main causes. At the end of the article, we will also suggest some ways to reduce the difference in the colors.
What is Color Deviation?
Color deviation, also known as color variation or color drift, is the difference between the colors that are printed and the colors that are supposed to be printed. This can be due to a number of factors, including the type of ink being used, the paper stock, the printing process, and even environmental conditions.
While some color deviation is normal and to be expected, large deviations can impact the quality of the final print and make it difficult for the design to achieve its desired effect.
There are four main causes of color deviation:
- The type of ink being used
- The type of paper stock
- The printing process
- Environmental conditions
The type of ink being used
One of the most common causes of color deviation is the type of ink being used. Different inks have different pigments and dyes, which can interact with each other in unexpected ways and cause colors to shift. This is why it’s important to use a consistent brand and type of ink throughout the printing process.
The type of paper stock
Another common cause of the color deviation is the type of paper stock being used. Different papers have different absorbency levels, which can cause the ink to dry differently and produce different results. This is why it’s important to test a variety of paper stocks before settling on one for a print project.
The printing process
The printing process itself can also cause color deviation. Different printing methods use different techniques and technologies, which can interact with the ink in unexpected ways and cause colors to shift. This is why it’s important to work with a printer who is familiar with the type of printing you need and can produce consistent results.
Finally, environmental conditions can also impact the color of a print. humidity, temperature, and even the time of day can all affect the way the ink dries and produces different results. This is why it’s important to print in a controlled environment where these conditions can be monitored and controlled.
So why is color deviation unavoidable in printing? Here are some possible reasons:
Wide Range of Colors
First, there is a wide range of possible colors that can be used in a design, but not all of these colors can be accurately reproduced in print. This is due to the fact that there are a limited number of colors that can be created using traditional printing inks. While there are ways to expand the color palette through special inks or techniques like CMYK printing, these colors will still not match the infinite number of colors that can be displayed on a screen.
This means that even if a designer is able to perfectly match the colors in their design to the colors that can be printed, there will still be some deviation between the two. The size of this deviation will depend on the number of colors used in the design and how close they are to each other on the color spectrum.
Limited Color Reproduction
Second, even if a design uses a limited number of colors, these colors will still not be reproduced perfectly in print. This is due to the way that color is created on a screen and in print.
Screens emit light, which means that they can produce a wider range of colors than prints. This is because prints reflect light, which means that they can only produce a limited number of colors.
The difference between these two color reproduction methods means that it is impossible to create an exact match between the colors in a design and the colors in a print. There will always be some degree of deviation, no matter how small.
How To Reduce Color Deviation?
There are a few steps you can take to reduce the amount of color deviation in your prints:
1. Use a consistent brand and type of ink
The first thing that you need to do is ensure that you are using a consistent type and brand of ink throughout the printing process. This will help to ensure that the colors are as consistent as possible.
2. Use a variety of paper stocks
The second thing you need to do is test a variety of different paper stocks. This will help you to find the paper stock that works best with your chosen ink and printing method.
3. Use pantone colors
The third thing you can do to reduce color deviation is ask your printer to use pantone colors to print your project, especially when your brand is with just one or two colors. You can give the pantone number to your printer and they can just print accordingly, which can reduce the color deviation greatly.
4. Work with a printer who is familiar with your chosen printing method
The fourth thing you need to do is work with a printer that is familiar with the type of printing you are using. This will help to ensure that the colors are as consistent as possible.
5. Print in a controlled environment
Finally, you need to print in a controlled environment. This will help to ensure that the colors are as consistent as possible.
By following these steps, you can help to reduce the amount of color deviation in your prints. However, it is important to remember that there will always be some degree of deviation, no matter what you do.
This is due to the limitations of traditional printing techniques and the way that color is reproduced on a screen and in print. There are ways to reduce the amount of deviation, but it is impossible to completely eliminate it.
Find a Reputable Printer to Reduce Color Deviation
As we have seen, color deviation seems like a consistent problem in printing. But there’s one way to almost completely avoid it: working with a reputable, professional printing company.
A reputable printer will have the experience and knowledge needed to produce high-quality prints that are as close to the colors in your design as possible. They will also have the equipment and technology needed to produce these prints in a controlled environment, which will help to reduce the amount of color deviation.
So, if you’re looking for high-quality prints that are as close to your design as possible, make sure to work with a reputable printing company.
We are in the printing and packaging industry and we are ready to work with large-scale printers so as to help them with color deviation issues. Get in touch with us and we will be happy to answer all your questions and assist you in all possible ways.