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  • Question about designing in CMYK for print

    Ok, so this makes sense, let me give a brief overview of where this question is coming from.

    I designed and created a logo for my company. *Link removed* It's a .PNG which I created using GIMP.

    It looks great to me on the lcd monitor however, I went to gotprint to order business cards and when I uploaded my business card design front which included my logo, once it displayed in their proofing box, it did NOT look the vibrant gradient blue that it appears on my website. Instead, it was much more bland and almost purple/violet/periwinkle. At any rate, NOT what I want. I want the logo to look the way it does on my site. Also, when I load this logo onto any documents I may create, again, on screen it's perfect but once my inkjet spits it out, it's that bland purple.

    I called gotprint and spoke to a guy there. he asked if I designed it in CMYK, then proceeded to tell me that because it displays as RGB on a computer screen that the way it prints will not be the same because they print in CMYK. I don't want to take a chance at ordering cards and having them look awful.

    My neighbor has Illustrator on her pc so I was going to recreate the logo there. I noticed that when I chose document color mode, CMYK, there are only a fraction of shades of blue available. is this the cause? is this why my logo looks completely wrong when converted to CMYK?

    What are your recommendations to be able to print my logo the way it appears on screen?

    thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Hi Moveright - We don't need a link to your site. Please post an image of the piece you want looked at

    When you get settled please read this as well as these very important threads. They will give you all the info you need on how the forum runs, the rules and regs, and give you some background info on our long running, inside jokes
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    • #3
      Most likely the blue on your website is out of gamut for offset printing. CMYK gamut is more narrow than RGB. This will start you out:
      This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
      "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."


      • #4
        sorry, I thought that would be faster. here's a link to the image! thanks for the speedy response btw...

        Last edited by Virgo Nightingale; 10-11-2011, 12:55 PM.


        • #5
          Just thought of a sub-question.

          Does this gamut issue(thanks for the info) mean that I will need to create a separate graphic strictly for printing?

          Or, do I create the graphic in CMYK, then convert to RGB and save for web display?


          • #6
            You might also want to read this about PNG format.


            PNG was designed for transferring images on the Internet, not for professional-quality print graphics, and therefore does not support non-RGB color spaces such as CMYK.
            Sketching not only helps you work out good ideas, it helps you get past the bad ones.


            • #7
              +1 to what Pan just said.

              You will want a vector version of your logo for print, the colour looks a little like reflex blue (you could use a PMS colour for this to get close).
              Design is not decoration.


              • #8
                Originally posted by kemingMatters View Post
                +1 to what Pan just said.

                You will want a vector version of your logo for print, the colour looks a little like reflex blue (you could use a PMS colour for this to get close).

                So what about the shadow, or bevel or whatever the effect I have on there(forgive me I'm not a designer)? doesn't that count as a "rasterized effect" thereby negating the vector concept?

                Also, are you suggesting that I design in CMYK, then I can use that for print, and also export as jpg for web display?

                thanks so much.


                • #9
                  TBH I didn't even notice the effect until you mentioned it, personally, I'd scrap it altogether.

                  I usually design in the colour mode the project is destined for, unless the printer tells me otherwise. If your printer is telling you the files should be CMYK, then you should submit CMYK files. (Your web versions should be RGB)

                  I mentioned using a spot (Reflex Blue) which can't be exactly matched with CMYK because it is a premixed ink and is slightly outside the CMYK gamut. If you print your cards offset (not gang-run) you can use reflex blue.
                  Design is not decoration.


                  • #10
                    Drop shadows, bevels, embosses etc are usually rasterized effects, yes. There are ways to do them with vector artwork while retaining the look, but... that's more Graphics 210 =) But regardless, it is almost always a bad idea to include these types of effects into a logomark. Simplicity and concept are how marks work, not "zomg look how neato this tiger texture looks!".

                    I always design my marks (ie logos) to work well in black & white, CMYK, and RGB. Any designer who does not do this is limiting your options.

                    With that said...

                    forgive me I'm not a designer
                    I designed and created a logo for my company.
                    And people wonder why the professionals are grouchy. See, we hear this a lot. I might even say the majority of the questions we get are in this vein. While we all understand that there is a certain level of not-knowing and budget concerns (particularly with new sole proprietor businesses), this is a case where you cannot really do it yourself without a major investment of time to learn either by study or trial-and-error.

                    I have to advise you to seek out a qualified professional to broker your printing and deal with all the file set up that you'll need. In the long run, how much is your time worth? And do you really want to spend hour upon hour learning a new jargon and struggling with files? How many contacts or new customers can you reach in that same amount of time?

                    btw, this also applies to web development =)

                    Other than the above I cannot advise anything as the links to the image have been removed it seems. Best of luck!
                    Seriously, read this.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by moveright View Post
                      Ok, so this makes sense, let me give a brief overview of where this question is coming from.

                      I designed and created a logo for my company. *Link removed* It's a .PNG which I created using GIMP.
                      There's your problem right there.
                      “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level we created them.” Albert Einstein


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WannaBrie View Post
                        There's your problem right there.

                        regarding the blue issue, a pantone color might be your solution. i didn't see your image but it sounds like you had a very vibrant blue that a traditional CMYK press won't hit. It will cost more to get a pantone match but at least you'll hit the color you're going for. remember color on screen will most likely be different than what you get printed.

                        "There's something about turning the pages of a book or magazine and the felling of rubbing your hands across the words."

                        This is my pen tool. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My pen tool is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My pen tool without me is useless. Without my pen tool, I am useless.

                        there is no grey area when it comes to 1 color logos.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WannaBrie View Post
                          There's your problem right there.
                          You mean that there are professionals who do this sort of thing?

                          Hmm... maybe I better have another look at my DIY employee health plan package.

                          (I wonder if it's too late to cancel my order for the aspirin-vending machine?)


                          • #14
                            Ima needin something stronger than an aspirin...


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the input regarding the pantone matching. I'll look more into that. Also, thanks for the tidbits about not using rasterized effects. that makes good sense to me.

                              I've got a much better understanding of this now and I appreciate all the useful help!


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