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Design Tips: Colours

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At Projectprint Group, we offer high-quality printing services to showcase your brand and make an impact. Our team of experts is dedicated to creating eye-catching designs and providing excellent customer service every step of the way. With our design tips, you can choose the perfect colours to make your materials stand out.


Type for text should always be 100% black to make reading easier.

For solid areas our recommended rich black for lightweight stocks is 30% Cyan, 0% Magenta, 0% Yellow, 100% Black.

  • This will give a slightly blue/black.

  • Alternatively, you could use 0% Cyan, 30% Magenta, 0% Yellow, 100% Black for a warmer black.

  • For heavier-weight stocks, we recommend 60% Cyan, 50% Magenta, 50% Yellow, 100% Black.

  • Sticking to these recommendations on large areas of black will ensure a nice, solid result.

  • Supplying artwork as 100% Cyan,100% Magenta, 100% Yellow, 100% Black is bad and will cause printing production

  • Issues will almost certainly be rejected by the printer.

Beware of supplying artwork with a CMYK black and a Pantone black. This drives the output devices mad and may lead to items disappearing from your artwork.


White is a common colour selection in packaging and is often used on board stocks such as Buffalo Board, Formakote, and Kraft stocks. These boards are also popular for use on book covers. The same design rules apply:

  • Plan for at least two hits of white to get an opaque result.

  • We suggest bold type and thick lines. Avoid thin lines and light type and small type sizes.

Some digital machines can now produce a reasonable white in 1 pass. However, Digital

Machines are limited in their stock weight and, as such, may not suit your packaging requirements.

Pantone PMS/Spot Colours

Most offset printers these days have 5 or 6 colour printing machines. This means they usually print the CMYK 4 colour process plus 1 or 2 extra colours, which may be metallic gold, silver, a fluoro or spot varnishes.

One option often overlooked by designers is using a double hit of a spot colour to create a strong impact and bring the job to life. Look at the x2 colour swatches in your Pantone books for some inspiration.

  • Large solid areas of dark colours look unique and deep if given two coats of colour.

  • Discuss your design with your printer; he may suggest a percentage of 1 hit colour will be enough.

  • Digital machines do not print spot colours.

Metallic Gold

Offset printing does not offer great gold from CMYK. But CMYK 0,15,81,14 is a good starting point.

Several Gold PMS colours reproduce a superior result, but you make the job a 5-colour print. We suggest a machine gloss varnish or laminate over any spot gold or metallic to stop scuffing and marking. Not all printers are good at printing Metallic Colours. Consult your printer early in the design stage to ensure confidence.

Design Tips: Gold Colours

  • We suggest bold type and thick lines. Avoid thin lines and light type and small type sizes.

  • Many Digital machines now offer a gold metal which is far superior to the offset printed CMYK gold and Pantone gold



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