Spot Color vs. CMYK: The Best Printing Option for Packaging

katrine Smith

Spot Color vs. CMYK: The Best Printing Option for Packaging

Understanding the difference between the two common printing terms is crucial for any designer, whether you are doing it yourself or handing off your design to someone else. Spot colors refer to when certain ink colors have been manually added into a file and cannot be created with CMYK.

This may sound like an inconsequential detail but can actually affect what color appears on packaging at times, as well as how much of that spot color will show up in your final product compared with using four standard primary-colored inks.

We will explore the distinctive points about these two different color models and find the best packaging: spot color or CMYK.

The Basics for Packaging Printing

 The Basics for Packaging Printing

An introduction to the many printing ways is the transfer of ink from a surface to the paper. It includes printing plates and lithography to more modern techniques like digital methods.

The printing method is a crucial factor to consider when designing your packaging. You have two types of printing, screen-print and digital print, and the type you choose depends on various elements.

Screen prints work best for designs that contain lots of colors because they allow all different inks onto one page at once; meanwhile, with digital printing, it is more like creating an image layer by layer as opposed to flooding everything out right away.

It is really up to how much time you want to invest into making sure each color looks perfect before going ahead with production.

There are many ways to create a visually appealing product. For example, applying your logo outside the shipping box is an easy step, but it might not be what you are looking for if you want something more intricate.

That is why we are going to see whether you require spot color or CMYK for your packaging.

What is Spot Color Screen Printing

  Spot colors are distinctive pre-mixed colors applied to specific parts of the box instead of mixing it with other color ink, like traditional printing methods. Because these inks have been premade and work the same for any machine or technique used, they are great if you want consistent print runs every time.

The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the standard spot color system used in America. In the 1960s, it was developed as a way for designers to understand how colors would reflect on coated and uncoated paper types without introducing unintentional variations due to media type or ink saturation levels. Today, its use has expanded beyond print design into branding projects that require attention-grabbing visual applications of specific hues over large surfaces such as cars and storefront windows

Why is Spot Color a Preferable Choice for Packaging?

Why is Spot Color a Preferable Choice for Packaging?

It is a preferable option when printing on a 1- to 2-color flexography press. Friday Packaging operates three high capacity, high-speed presses that can create spot color artwork for your packaging needs: two 2-color presses and one 1-color large format printer. They do this with seamless efficiency to produce beautiful printing results.

Spot colors are often the most reliable way to achieve a specific color when print jobs need consistency. This is especially true for packaging that demands brand-specific colors. You can also avail this option to have exceptional ink effects, such as metallic or fluorescents.

Spot colors are a common way to add flair and personality to packaging design. However, they can also have an impact on how the final product is printed. For example, flexography uses separate plates for each color that must be applied as ink in order to create images or text. This may incur additional costs when it comes time for printing your project due if you plan on adding more than one spot color.

It's essential not only to think about what kind of look you want for your package but also to take into consideration production methods such as litho-lamination, which use multiple plates per press run with different colored inks depending upon where those spots will appear within the image being printed out onto paper stock material sheets.

In order to achieve accurate reproduction and true-to-life balance between all hues, spot or process colors are not supported on wide format corrugated digitized print. However, if accuracy is important, then ask your vendor about running an additional machine time-based Pantone measurement to ensure precise matching every time.

What is CMYK Color Model?
What is CMYK Color Model?

The CMYK color model is the most common to produce colors on press. It uses four different pigmented inks: cyan, magenta, yellow and key black, hence CMYK.

Flexographic printing is produced by the application of ink on a surface. This process can be accomplished through litho-lam or flexography, both in which an ink plate overlaps other plates to "build" full-color designs. Compared with digital print, where CMYK colors are applied simultaneously directly onto surfaces, this technique offers virtually endless combinations and only uses small amounts from Pantone's extensive library because it requires less time for production than its counterpart methods.

How is CMYK Great for Packaging?

CMYK printing is a great way to produce packaging that has the perfect color combination for your product. If you are looking for packages with multiple colors, this type of printing could be what you need. However, if there's any chance that different printers might not print out all your colors exactly how they were meant to look on paper - whether due to their age or something else - it can lead to some variation in the final design and quality. Your package partner should help by performing press checks before production starts as well as consulting on artwork beforehand so everything turns out perfectly every time.

The latest breakthrough in the printing industry is digital color. Digital printers use CMYK for corrugated boxes, displays, labels, and folding cartons but also include new base colors to extend the gamut of what can be printed on a surface. This means that even low-volume orders or prototypes will have full-color treatment.

In Summary of CMYK vs Spot Color Screen Printing

The choice between spot color and CMYK is not a decision that should be made lightly, as it will affect the visual result you are trying to achieve. The two models offer different benefits depending on what printing method you're using, so take your time before making any decisions about which one would work best for your specific packaging.

We hope our article was beneficial enough to help you with choosing the best colors for your packaging boxes.