RGB vs CMYK explained

For digital, offset and some flexo items, your stickers and labels will be printed using a CMYK printing process. This stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Key, with the Key being Black. These four colours combine together to make up every colour that you see in your artwork when printed. This process differs to how you see colours on the screen, as screen colours are made up from RGB. RGB stands for Red, Green & Blue. RGB is unlike CMYK as it's made up from light rather than ink or coloured toner. This enables RGB colour to be more vibrant and appear more colourful on the screen.

RGB light, when combined together, can create more vibrant colours than that of CMYK. This is because RGB light has a wider colour gamut than that of the CMYK Inks or Toners. There is a part of both the RGB and CMYK colour gamuts that overlap, meaning that a large part of each group which can be matched from screen to print. For the parts where they do not overlap, this is where conversion comes in play.

When files are supplied with RGB colours, they need to be converted to CMYK colour for printing. If there are any colours in the RGB file that appear outside of the CMYK colour gamut, they will be converted to the nearest achievable colour in the CMYK gamut. As a result of this, printed colours don't always look as appealing as colours on the screen and colours should be matched from colour charts not from screen colours.


Using Pantone® Spot colours

If you have a colour critical job and want us to produce a colour accurately, you will need to set up your artwork using Pantone® spot colours. You will need an application that will support spot colours such as Adobe Illustrator, Indesign and in some cases Photoshop. Pantone, or PMS Colours, are used to match colours globally. PMS Colours can not be printed digitally. Pantone has a Colour Bridge to review the variations between CMYK print and PMS Colours.


Formats & Resolutions

We accept the following file formats:

We recommend image resolution be at 300 DPI or higher.

Images created for websites generally have a resolution of 72 DPI (Dots Per Inch). This is much lower than what is required for good print quality. If the artwork is supplied at a low resolution, the printed image may appear blurred, jagged and rough.
Printing material requires a minimum of 300 DPI, so please ensure your artwork meets this requirement. Keep in mind higher resolution images generally result in larger file sizes. Images are best resized in Photoshop before being imported to artwork. 

Artwork submitted in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) or other format requires conversion to Illustrator format. Additional charges may apply for format conversion.


Avoiding white edges on your printed labels

Bleed is a printing term that refers to print area that goes beyond the edge of the label before trimming. The bleed is the area to be trimmed off and it should not contain any parts that you want to appear on your labels. The bleed is the part on each side of a label that gives us a small amount of space to account for the movement of the paper and the cutting dies. Artwork and background colours can extend into the bleed area. After the labels are trimmed, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed label.

It is very difficult to print exactly to the edge of a label so, to achieve this, it is necessary to print a slightly larger area than is needed and then trim the labels down to the required finished size and shape. Images, background images and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the label must be extended beyond the trimming line to give a bleed.

We ask that you supply all artwork with a 3mm bleed on each edge, this gives enough tolerance for any movement in the press, paper or cutter.



Safe Margins

Keep your important elements safe.

We're not going to tell you how to design your labels, but we would suggest to take note of the items on this page to get best results.

Take a look at the examples on this page, we'll let you make your own mind up whether or not to add items close to the edge of the label.

If we were able to perfectly print any design we would obviously do that, unfortunately, manufacturing tolerances don't allow us to do so.