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OMG! Print out is in wrong colour, AGAIN!

Have you ever spent hours and hours designing, and choosing that PERFECT HUE OF BLUE that you want on your name card, yet it turns out to be completely different?



1) Why are the colour turn out on prints different from how they appear on my computer screen/your computer screen/my office print out?

The first two terms that you need to know are RGB (Red-Green-Blue) & CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black). Everything that you view on your computer are in RGB.

However, NOTHING prints in RGB, the actual print outs can only be in CMYK or with PMS colours. In fact, some colours in RGB cannot be achieved in CMYK, and vice versa.

What should I do?

a) Change the output to CMYK & do colour correction in CMYK mode

b) request* for a high-res hardcopy colour proof before printing in bulk (10,000pcs and above)

*Not available for name cards*

2) My printed blacks are not RICH black T.T

WHAT?! HOW CAN BLACK, BE NOT BLACK?! Well, it's true, and that can happen to you, too!

One of the common mistake for many designers is, using the default 'black' (C: 75, M: 68, Y: 69 & K: 90) given by Adobe Illustrator.

If you'd like to achieve a deep black colour, also commonly known as RICH BLACK, you may use C:60, M:40: Y:40 & K:100.

Another common mistake is, using C:100, M:100, Y:100 & K:100. DON'T DO THAT! There will be way too much ink on your print, and it will create a muddy looking job that won't dry.

Note: If you change the Rich Black values to something else, your black will no longer be neutral. This means that your black may have a red, blue, or a yellowish hue to it.

3) My blues turned out to be purple-blue when printed!

Just like playing with paint.. if you mix too much pink in.. your blue may turn purple.

Percentage matters! The values between Cyan and Magenta should be AT LEAST 30 points apart.

Remember, the colour reflected on your screen is in RGB, not CMYK. Hence, even if the colour looks right on your computer screen, if the Cyan and Magenta values are too close together, the blues will have a purplish hue to it.

E.g. C: 100%; M: 70%; Y: 10%; K: 10%

Need additional professional advice?


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