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Color Accuracy

Smartpress.com uses a CMYK digital printing process, which means our presses print a wide range of hues using cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks. We will reproduce color from submitted print-ready files as closely as possible, but even under the best circumstances, an exact color match is not possible. This is an inherent limitation in the printing process. The term “color match” refers to the color rendering intent specified in the submitted artwork. If the artwork contains colors specified as Pantone spot colors, Smartpress.com will attempt to match the color as closely as possible. However, only a limited number of Pantone colors can be matched perfectly in the CMYK digital printing process.

Smartpress.com Pantone® CMYK Conversion Charts

Smartpress.com offers Pantone CMYK Conversion Charts for simple color matching and PMS-to-CMYK color conversions. These charts are free, just pay for shipping. Pantone CMYK Conversion Charts are available through the Sample Request Page. Read more about these color charts on our Pantone Color Conversion page and see the most current product list for which chart to reference.

Your Computer Monitor and Color

The artwork, as it appears on your computer screen, is almost certainly not accurate since every computer screen renders color differently. An on-screen proof cannot match the color or density of a printed piece. Even different programs on the same computer can render color differently. By placing an order with Smartpress.com you agree to this limitation.

For these reasons, we cannot be responsible for color variations between submitted files and the final printed piece. If color is critical, you should request a hard proof, which will represent the output you can expect very closely. For more information about hard proofs and timing, please visit our Proofs help page.

Other Important Color Information

Whether you use RGB or CMYK, please be sure to embed the color profile in your PDF print file. Whatever color profiles you tag will be honored. However, any RGB files that are not tagged with the appropriate color profile will be tagged as sRGB, and CMYK files that are not tagged will be processed as GRACol®.

To achieve the darkest black for your design, there is one additional step you should take when making your print file. Simply create a spot color for the black elements of your design and label it rk (case sensitive). When your design file is processed, this spot color name will ensure that your project will be printed with the richest black available on our presses.

Application of UV coating or laminating may affect or change the appearance of the printed colors; we cannot guarantee the final color appearance of a coated product.

Keep in mind, requesting a hard proof is still the only way to guarantee you are getting the exact color you want!

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