Color is an important factor in getting your customers’ attention in today’s crowded marketplace. Numerous studies indicate that color increases readership and retention by a whopping 40-60% over black and white print. Adding a splash of color to a simple graphic on your customer-facing labels and receipts is a great way to capture the attention of a broad audience by highlighting your brand or a particular product or service. And HOW the color is applied is an important consideration in maintaining a consistent and professional representation of your brand. Here’s what you need to know:

4-Color Process (CMYK)

4-color printing is the process most familiar to consumers. It’s the same principle upon which your home color printer operates. Commercial printers use an advanced form of this process that produces very high-quality images. Utilizing the four primary printing colors of Cyan (C), Yellow (Y), Magenta (M), and Black (also known as Key (K)), a printer can produce any color imaginable. Each color is applied as an individual layer, with the paper being run through the press four separate times. The CMYK process results in a vibrant blend of colors capable of reproducing full-color images such as photographs.

However, when you need to match specific colors in your logo, or if you only want one or two solid colors to highlight your message, spot colors are the way to go.

Spot Colors and Pantone®

It is customary for companies to be consistent in their use of color when reproducing their logo for print purposes. This practice helps ensure the company’s brand imagery will be readily recognizable wherever it is encountered. Because of the imprecise nature of the 4-color process, it is not recommended when exact color matching is required, as is usually the case in printing logos and logotype. In general, spot coloring is the less expensive option when dealing with only one or two colors, as it reduces the number of times the media must be passed through the printer to achieve the final color.

Spot color printing involves the application of premixed inks. Known as Pantone® or PMS colors (for Pantone Matching System), thousands of colors are available in Pantone’s formula guides, and companies typically select one or two specific Pantone colors to represent their brand; for example, “Brother Blue” is the equivalent of Pantone color #661. Chances are good that, if that color were swapped out for another, consumers familiar with the Brother brand would feel something was “off.” Using spot colors ensures that your identity remains consistent across all expressions of your brand, which promotes consumer confidence, leading to increased sales and product engagement.

Brother Mobile Solutions offers both 4-color and spot color processes to help customers highlight their brand and products in the minds of consumers. Consult our experts for advice on selecting the right process for your specific requirements.

By Ann Iten
Sr. Product Manager – Supplies & Service at Brother Mobile Solutions

This post originally appeared here.

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