01923 330 452

Colour Guide for Supplying Artwork for Print

When preparing artwork for print, understanding and managing color correctly is crucial to ensure that your final product matches your design intentions. This guide will help you navigate the key aspects of color management for print production.

RGB to CMYK Printing

Understanding Color Modes


  • CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black): This is the color mode used by printers. It works by combining these four inks in varying amounts to produce a wide range of colors. Always convert your artwork to CMYK before sending it to print to ensure color accuracy.
  • RGB (Red, Green, Blue): This color mode is used for digital displays. RGB has a broader color gamut than CMYK, meaning some colors visible on your screen might not print accurately. Therefore, avoid using RGB for print files.
RGB to CMYK Printing

Converting to CMYK

When working in design software, ensure your document is set to CMYK mode:

  • Adobe InDesign: Choose CMYK when creating a new document or convert an existing one via Edit > Convert to Profile.
  • Adobe Illustrator: Set the color mode to CMYK via File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color.
  • Adobe Photoshop: Convert your document to CMYK via Image > Mode > CMYK Color.

Color Profiles

ICC Profiles:

  • Standard Profiles: Use industry-standard ICC profiles like ISO Coated v2 for coated paper or PSO Uncoated v3 for uncoated paper. These profiles help ensure color consistency across different devices and printers.
  • Custom Profiles: Some print companies provide specific ICC profiles tailored to their equipment. Always check with your printer and use their recommended profile if available.

Managing Colors

Spot Colors vs. Process Colors:

  • Process Colors: These are created using the CMYK process and are how we produce your print jobs.
  • Spot Colors: Used for achieving specific hues not possible with CMYK alone, such as metallic or fluorescent colors. Spot colors are often defined using the Pantone Matching System (PMS). We do not utilise Spot Colours in our production environment.


  • Ensure consistent color usage throughout your document. Define colors using specific CMYK values or Pantone swatches to maintain uniformity.
  • Avoid using rich blacks for small text or fine lines to prevent blurring. Use 100% black (K) for these elements instead.

Proofing and Adjustments

Soft Proofing:

  • Use your design software’s proofing tools to simulate how your colors will appear in print. In Adobe products, you can enable Proof Colors under the View menu and select the appropriate profile for your printer.

Hard Proofing:

  • If available with your custom printing job with RightPak. You can request a physical proof from us to see how the colors will look on the actual print material. This step is vital for critical color matching and can help identify any issues before the full print run. This service is not always available and will slow your production down due to the production of the proof, export and sign-off from you once you've reviewed the printed proof.

Preparing for Print

Flatten Transparencies:

  • Flatten all transparencies in your artwork to prevent unexpected results. In Adobe InDesign, use File > Export and select the High Quality Print preset, then adjust the settings to flatten transparencies.

Embed Color Profiles:

  • When exporting your final PDF, ensure you embed the color profile. In Adobe Acrobat, select PDF/X-1a:2001 or another print-standard format that includes the profile.

Final Checks

  1. Calibration: Regularly calibrate your monitor to ensure color accuracy. Invest in a good-quality monitor calibrator.
  2. Proofing Communication: Upon viewing your proof, you will be given the option to 'Approve' or 'Reject' your artwork. You will need to add comments when rejecting your artwork so that we understand your reasoning. For example 'Font issues' where you haven't correctly created your fonts in curves (when in PDF or EPS) or a typo has been missed before submitting your artwork. Once approved, you will have locked in the artwork on our system for production. It can not be re-supplied or amended for the current production run once you have approved your artwork.

By following this color guide, you can significantly improve the accuracy and quality of your printed materials, ensuring that your final product closely matches your design vision. Proper color management is essential for professional, vibrant, and consistent print results.

We offer you a complete satisfaction guarantee from start to finish.

We complete tasks to a fast and speedy turnaround ensuring your product is quickly dispatched

We look after loyal customers with great offers and schemes to ensure the most competitive services

If you can't find exactly what your looking for, get in touch with our experts who are on hand to assist you.