About Colors Return

When printing Full Color, we do not use PMS colors! The PMS and Pantone colors need to be converted to CMYK colors . This is probably the first most important design tip that you must consider when designing a job that is going to be run as a process job.

Please, never submit full color files using RGB, Pantone or PMS colors! We also cannot accept spot colors, only process colors. Otherwise our prepress department will automatically convert Pantone, PMS, RGB and spot colors to 4-color tints. The results are often undesirable. Avoid unexpected results by designing and submitting your files in CMYK only.


What are RGB Colors? Return

Really useful design tip:
R stands for Red
G stands for Green
B stands for Blue
RGB colors are those used by most computer monitors and televisions to display full color. RGB colors are create light. Printed colors, however, need light to be seen. Mark V Press prints using CMYK colors.


What are CMYK Colors? Return

Read this Design Tip!:
Did you know that
C stands for color Cyan?
M stands for color Magenta?
Y stands for color Yellow?
K stands for color Black?

Most color presses (including those used by Mark V Press) use the combination of these four colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) to create full color output. Even simpler desktop color printers (such as Laser and Inkjet printers) rely primarily on the combination of these four inks to create full color output. All work submitted to us must be converted to CMYK.

About color Black
Want a rich "colorful" black? Read this design tip:
To obtain the richest possible black on your piece, all heavy blacks and defined text over 24 pt needs to be configured with the following color combination:

Cyan: 60%
Magenta: 50%

Yellow: 50%

Black: 100%

You'll be surprised with the richness achieved on your piece.

Scanned Pictures? Digital Cameras? Return

If you are scanning the images yourself from photographs, it is better to save them in either tif, or eps format. These image formats will preserve the color and sharpness of your pictures the best.

File formats like gif or jpg compress the pictures color and pixel resolution and this can cause color shifts and blurriness. Since jpg and gif are the most predominant image formats on the web, it follows that it's not a good idea to simply lift an image from someone's website and use it in your layout.

You should scan your images using a resolution of 300dpi at the final dimensions you intend to use them so that your colors will look smooth, and hard objects will look sharp. In other words don't scan at 300dpi and then enlarge the picture by 200% in your layout program! This is another reason why you should not use images that are lifted from websites; they are probably only 72dpi in resolution and will look very blurry if printed on a printing press. See our Resolution page for more information on resolution.

If you are using pictures from your digital camera they will work just fine if they are jpgs

Will my printed piece look exactly like it does on my computer monitor? Return

No! Monitors are usually not calibrated so you might find dramatic differences in between your monitor and the final printed piece. In addition, color profiles set but graphic design software might generate even more differences.

Can I use colored text? Return
It’s best not to colorize small text. What happens is that all printing presses have a little bit of variance in the consistency of the position of the different color plates. This is called misregistration. The cyan, magenta, yellow and black portions of the text characters don't line up exactly. So the result is little colored halos around the characters. It's ok to use colored text on large, headline type, or smaller sizes down to about 12 point size, but much smaller than that will be too noticeable and you won't like it. The same thing holds true for white (knock-out) text on a dark or colored background. You can do it but don't use point sizes smaller than about 12 point. Otherwise the words may be hard to read and it will look unprofessional.





RGB Vs CMYK Vs Pantone Colors
There are some small differences in between the two systems.. Scanners and digital cameras create images using combinations of just three colors: Red, Green and Blue (called "RGB"). These are the colors that computers use to display images on your screen. But printing presses print full color pictures using a different set of colors: Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black (called "CMYK"). So at some stage your RGB file must be translated to CMYK in order to print it on a printing press. This is easily done using an image editing program like PhotoShop or Corel PhotoPaint.

Be aware that it is possible to make colors in RGB that you can't make with CMYK. They are said to be "out of the CMYK color gamut". What happens is that the translator just gets as close as possible to the appearance of the original and that's as good as it can be. It's something that everyone in the industry puts up with. So it's best to select any colors you use for fonts or other design elements in your layout using CMYK definitions instead of RGB. Please see our RGB - CMYK Information page for important instructions on getting the results you want.

You most likely won't notice this kind of color shift in a color photograph. It is more likely to happen if you pick a very rich, vibrant color for a background or some other element of your layout. It probably won't look bad, it just won't look exactly the same. But it may not be noticeable at all either. In any event it will look spectacular compared to a piece printed on an inkjet printer.

Can I put text over an image?
Be careful about using photographs for backgrounds. If you put text (any color) on top it can be very hard to read. So the secret is to lighten the photograph a lot--more than you may think is necessary. Use a photo editing program like Paint Shop Pro or Adobe Photoshop, Picture It, etc.

What are bleeds, and do I need them?
Bleed is the term for printing that goes right to the edge of the paper. The way to do this is to make your document .25" too big in both dimensions. For instance, if the final size is 8.5" x 11" then make your document 8.75" x11.25". Draw guides on the layout that are .125" from the edge all the way around. Now create your design with the idea that the layout will be cut off where those guides are....because that is precisely what is going to happen. Make sure that any photographs or backgrounds that you want to bleed go clear out to the perimeter of the document, past the guidelines. Then after we have printed your piece we will trim off that extra .125" all the way around and voila! You have color all the way to the edges of your piece. It looks professional....


Not Sure We Can Print From Your File?
If you are not sure that your file will work, you can send it to us and we will examine it to see if there are any major flaws that would prevent us from printing your job.
Go here to upload your file.