The Right Colors for Business Cards


Colors for Business Cards

So you have your business card design conceptualized, however, what you see on your computer screen may translate into different shades of color once printed. That’s why it is vital to ensure you are picking the right colors for business cards and those colors translate onto the printed version.

Your computer monitor was probably last set for proper color calibration when it was manufactured and hasn’t been corrected since. Why is this important? Because what you see on your screen may be very different from what your business card looks like when it is printed. In fact, there will almost always be a variance. To simplify, your monitor works in RGB (Red, Green, Blue) mode, while printing is done in CMYK.

What is CMYK? It’s the abbreviation for Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black. You probably have a color printer. Consider your ink or toner cartridges. How many are there? Usually four. Because by combining those four colors in varying percentages a printer can create any color. Remember when you were in elementary school art class and your teacher had you color something with a red pencil? Then you went over it with a yellow one. What did you get? Orange! It’s the same principle with offset and digital printing.

Blues are especially problematic. If the percentage of cyan to magenta is less than 30 percentage points, there is a good chance you will have a purple sky instead of a blue one. So here’s a tip to make sure it’s correct. Download a little program called Pixie by Nattyware, run it and place your cursor over your blue images. If the C-M values are 100-70 or proportionally similar, you’ll be fine.

After all this work you want your business card to be the colors you choose.


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