How do I get an exact color match for labels?

When a customer needs an exact color match for labels, we use “spot colors” to achieve the desired effect since they’re able to reproduce colors that are outside the gamut of ‘4 color process’ colors (CMYK = cyan, magenta, yellow, and ‘key’ black). To create spot color inks, we use the Pantone® Matching System (PMS), a standardized color reproduction system. If you don’t have your PMS color, you can research online using the Pantone color finder. It’s important to note, however, that digital color simulations aren’t a completely accurate representation of the physical Pantone Color Standards due to variations in screens. There are several ways to ensure you have the right PMS color like using Pantone’s formula guide, speaking with a Pantone product expert, or converting a CMYK color to the closest Pantone color using Adobe Illustrator – something our pre-press artists can do when preparing your label artwork for printing. With your PMS color, getting an exact color match on your custom labels is much easier. Learn more about spot color printing in our article!

What is the Pantone Matching System (PMS)?

PMS is for printing spot colors. Pantone colors each have CMYK equivalents, click here to search for a Pantone color.

Can I send you something physical rather than an art file to color match?

Yes, you can send us something to color match like a previous label, bottle, printed box, etc. Between our pre-press art department and press operators, we can get an exact or very close match. We can recreate and match colors through one of these two printing processes: four color process printing or spot color printing.

The Difference Between Four Color Process and Spot Color Printing

4 color process printing builds colors by applying layers of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, ‘key’ black) inks to achieve full-color printing results, however, slight variations in color can occur which is why ‘spot colors’ are used for critical color matches. Spot color printing is used when one or more colors need to be matched and reproduced consistently. Spot color inks can accurately reproduce colors that are outside the gamut of ‘4 color process’ colors. If one or more spot colors are used along with 4 color process printing, then a standard ‘4 color’ print job becomes a five, six, seven, etc., color job.

GMI Certified Label Printer

The Graphics Measure International (GMI) is a global packaging leader that certifies, monitors, and measures the performance of packaging suppliers. The GMI certification helps identify label and package printing companies that adhere to high standards for color reproduction. As a GMI certified printer, we continually measure color samples from our flexographic and digital presses against the tolerances of a finely calibrated ‘spectrodensitometer’ and provide random samples throughout press runs to verify that vendor requirements are met. By adhering to these strict guidelines, we’re able to ensure consistent color quality within a production run and on re-orders of the same item. We also apply these guidelines when a customer has multiple items in a production run and need a consistent color from item to item.

Not only do we understand the importance of having consistent and accurate colors, we have the tools and experience to achieve an exact color match for labels, shrink sleeves, and flexible packaging. Contact us today to get started on your color matched labels!