Printing - what you see is not what you get...
A customer of ours was delighted with his new logo and business stationery - (Bigger Fish Ltd). We got their logo created from a short brief - and it was ‘right on track' with the message and look and feel they wanted to convey. We worked on the colours of the brand considerably - and I recall that with the design happily in place, we played around with some different colour influences for them until we hit on the perfect fit.
The customer, utilised the printing services we recommend - for low-cost good quality services, printing.com. We have used them a lot for ‘general' printing of business cards and stationery and they tend to turnaround the jobs on time and are good value for money.
Our customer on this occasion wasn't unhappy with the quality of the print - the business cards looked great - however, the colours on the letterhead and compliment slip looked less impactful than the business card.
Now, as someone who used to work at DX Print Group, plus having worked in the advertising, design and marketing arena for a considerable number of years - to me, of course, I knew this would be the case. The stock (term for the type of card) used for the business cards was totally different to that used for the letterhead and compliment slip and therefore paper absorbency will impact the colour when put side by side.
This really is something that we at Logotastic need to ensure that all customers are clear on - as whilst we don't predominantly focus on ‘print' - (that's not our core business), once we've designed - then customers are more than likely going to print some form of business stationery.
So here are some pointers to consider when printing your logo and business stationery:
When you see your design on ‘screen' (ie through a pc/mac/laptop monitor) you are viewing it in what we call RGB (the colour balance is based on the mix of Red, Green and Blue). However, off line - commercial printers work to CMYK (the colour balance is a mix of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black).
Therefore, it's unlikely that what you see on screen is exactly as you are going to see it off screen. It's unlikely that you'll really notice any difference as most printers will colour match pretty precisely based on the CMYK readout that the designer provides to him. However, if you are investing in a big print run then you really should get a printed proof from your printer so that you can check you are happy with the way it's going to look once printed. Nowadays, many budget printers provide you with a PDF proof - but be aware that you'll be viewing that PDF in RGB mode via your monitor!