Have you ever heard the color terms CMYK or PMS thrown around when ordering printing online? Often printers may ask if the colors for your print project are CMYK or PMS. To designers and printers this is common knowledge, but to a business owner who wants to print their logo or other branding material, this question can result in confusion.
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the primary colors for print known as full-color printing. Where we all grew up knowing Yellow and blue make green and Yellow and red make orange, the printing industry grew up knowing that varying the quantities of cyan, magenta, yellow and black creates an endless array of colors to print.
PMS stands for Pantone Matching System colors. There can be so much variation in color using CMYK that Pantone set out to create a system that allowed for consistent color. This way a designer can create a logo that will print consistently from job to job and printer to printer.
A little more about color…
The main difference between CMYK and Pantone in online printing is the level of accuracy. The Pantone process is more consistent and able to produce colors closer in shade to the ones seen in the digital design stage. However, it is also more costly than CMYK. With CMYK, it’s easier to bundle different jobs together than it is with Pantone.
For most online print jobs where exact color isn’t a concern, CMYK is the best choice. Our online printing shop offers the print industry’s standard phrase of respectable color and will make every rational effort to print your product as close to the colors you have provided as possible at affordable prices. Check out our pricing for yourself or to get started!