Who is with us that printing should win the prize for “Most Jargon-y?” Offset, digital, CMYK, RGB, Spot Color, PMS, Four Color….Eeek! All you want is for your marketing collateral to look great, right? Whether your project is an annual report, brochure, marketing kit, magazine or admissions view book, your end goal is a pristinely gorgeous, pick-me-up-and-flip-my-pages result. Let’s get you to your goal. We at The Mardiney Group untangle the graphic design jargon here.
Lesson Two: What’s the fine “print” between offset, digital, CMYK, RGB, spot color?
Hot off the Press? Offset vs. Digital Printing
OFFSET – Think printing press. Although we’ve advanced since Gutenberg’s time, offset printing has changed little since the early 20th century. The image to be printed is burned to a plate, which is then transferred to a rubber blanket and layers of color are applied to the printing surface. Offset printing produces high quality prints, is more cost-effective for high volume runs, and opens the door for a larger selection of paper choices or other printing surfaces such as metal or plastic. We prefer off-set for photography-heavy documents, like a catalog or annual report.
DIGITAL – Think a big inkjet printer. Although technology is always improving, for now, digital printing is limited by the size of the printer and by the paper options. Digital is a great for smaller volume jobs and those requiring a quick turnaround.
Now Let’s Talk Color RGB vs. CMYK vs. Spot Color
RGB – This stands for Red Green Blue, the color associated with electronic displays. These are the colors you will see on your computer screen. RGB colors are not the same as CMYK colors.
CMYK – This stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. Also known as color process, CMYK builds color through layers of the four colors. This process is used in both offset and digital printing.
SPOT COLOR – Also known as a Pantone color or PMS, spot colors are best when a color needs to be true and reproduced consistently and accurately, for example, in a company logo.
Hope this quick “Learn to Speak Designer” lesson has been useful. At The Mardiney Group, we’ll offer a recommendation as to what printing process is best suited for your project, but welcome any questions and input. Talk to us! We look forward to hearing from you!