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Full Color Label Printing – 4 Color Process

About 4 Color Process Labels

Our flexographic and digital label presses use a “4 color process” to achieve high definition, full-color results. Commonly known as “CMYK”, these 4 colors stand for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black).

In flexographic printing, the label artwork’s colors separate into ink levels of CMYK. This separation is used to create printing plates and each plate prints a single color. With all four printing plates combined, the CMYK inks create photographic quality images.

4 color process labels
Label roll

Achieving Crisp Images and Color Accuracy

  • Full-color 4 color process labels can help your product stand out on the shelf and make your brand more memorable.
  • Most other label companies can only print up to 8 or 10 colors – we can print up to 12 colors with flexographic printing!
  • Gradient colors can be hard to print but we’ve got it down to a science so you can further customize your label look.
Start on your labels by getting an instant online quote! For more information, please call 1-800-475-2235 or email sales@consolidatedlabel.com.

Spot Colors and 4 Color Process Labels

Since normal CMYK inks mix during the printing process, minor differences in color occur when printing at high volumes. Using spot colors, however, avoids this entirely.

Spot colors are inks that are premixed to their needed level by a computerized ink matching system, then used during the printing process to achieve a higher level of color consistency. Spot colors will grant you acute accuracy and consistency with every press run. In a flexographic press, they use up to 12 different colors in a single run; digital presses can use up to seven spot colors in addition to CMYK colors for a total of 10 colors.

4 Color Process Labels
CMYK four color process labels

Why ‘K’ for Black?

As mentioned earlier, the ‘K’ in CMYK stands for ‘key.’ A key printing plate’s use is to print the detail in the image. Without a key plate, the images typically lack any detail because the key color’s use is to provide lines and contrast. Since black is the most commonly used key plate color, the ‘K’ in CMYK is synonymous with black.

To ensure color quality on 4 color process labels, we recommend you design your label artwork in CMYK mode.

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Further Reading

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