Design Tips« Back to Ideas Collection
More Design Tips
- • How Geometry Inspires Design
- • Use Color Contrast to Trick the Brain
- • Design that Pops
- • How to Lure in Your Audience with Good Design
- • Get That 3D Look Without Breaking Your Budget
- • Boost Your Marketing Prowess with Perfect Postcard Design
- • 5 Ideas to Spark Those Creative Juices
- • 5 Ways to Toot Your Own Horn
- • A Metaphorical Idea
- • 5 Must-Haves in Every Layout
- • Trim the Fat: What Your Logo Doesn't Need
- • Timeboxing: An Outline for More Efficient Design
- • Paragraph Indicators - Make A Dent in Your Universe
- • Designing for Color-Blind Viewers
- • Add Sparkle With the Symbolism Tool
- • Grab Them Right Out of the Gate
- • Depicting Time and Motion with Design
- • When Color Matters
- • Design That's Easy as A-B-C
- • Eye-Teasing Design
- • Variation on a Theme
- • Room to Breathe
- • Low-Cost Clip Art and Images
- • Typographical Terms
- • Breakthrough Brochures
- • The Risk of Over Designing
- • Successful Newsletters How-To
- • Do-It-Yourself Letterhead
When Color Matters: Tips for Specifying Colors
You're designing a new brochure, flyer, or newsletter and want to make sure it looks great. You're considering printing it full-color, but aren't sure if that's the best option to choose, considering your budgetary needs. Here are some tips to help you decide how many colors to use and how to make the most of the colors you choose.When to use spot colors...
- You only need one or two colors for the printed piece.
- Your project doesn't include any full-color photos.
- Your corporate colors need to be reproduced to exact specifications and cannot be reproduced faithfully enough by combining cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK)... the four "process" colors.
- Your project calls for fluorescent, metallic, or other special inks.
- You need more than two colors.
- Your piece includes full-color photos.
- You want to enhance the colors by including a "bump" plate (an extra printing plate set up in one of the four process colors and meant to enhance that tone).
- Your project includes full-color photos, but your logo or corporate colors don't reproduce well with process color inks.
- Your project includes full-color photos and also requires metallic, fluorescent, or other special inks.
No matter what color combination you choose, there are some things you can do to ensure your project goes more smoothly. For example, as you're preparing your artwork, make sure you aren't "duplicating" any colors. Look through the color palette in your page layout software. Remove any duplicate colors you find, and reassign the corresponding objects and layers accordingly.
Also make sure you give your colors the same names in each application you use for the project. For example, make sure you give the color the same name in InDesign as you give it in Photoshop and Illustrator. This will help reduce confusion and ensure the colors separate properly when preparing the piece for print.
And finally, if you decide to go with process printing, use your design software to convert any spot colors you have to their CMYK equivalents. When doing so, double-check the values the software assigns, to ensure good printability. For example, if Photoshop gives a color a 1% magenta value, you might want to do some tweaking to eliminate the need for that value. We'll be happy to help you optimize your files for print and answer any questions you have while producing your files.