If you want to make your branding material pop or leave a positive impression with your corporate stationery, then you need to ensure the color for your printed text and fonts is set correctly.
As professional printers, we’ve put together top tips for trouble-free printing regarding color, font, and texts.
How color works for printing text and fonts
One of the first considerations when designing for print is the color scheme you want to work in, such as RGB (red, green, and blue) or CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).
- RGB – used for digital/web design (for viewing on a screen), RGB colors are additive
- CMYK – used for print design, CMYK colors are subtractive
While both options will print in color, designing in CMYK produces significantly better results for print.
If you want to use a highly detailed type on a design, you may branch out into color fonts, also known as chromatic fonts. These fonts incorporate details such as color, gradients, and texture into a font file (vector or bitmap format). Font developers refer to color fonts as OpenType-SVG fonts.
Using color when printing
If you want optimal quality, you need to consider the small details of color printing.
Most printers stock a standard supply of spot colors which are solid colors created using premixed ink. These colors are usually based on Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors. Using PMS spot colors is one of the most cost-effective options but doesn’t always produce the best quality.
If you use spot colors in a CMYK job, then you should mark these colors for separation during layout (especially when using InDesign).
Printing in 4+ colors (CMYK)
The four-color process differs from spot colors and is the only way to print full-color images (or text). It’s important to match colors when needed. For example, a significant part of the Pantone colors is tricky to match in 4-color CMYK printing.
When designing with these colors, monitors should be carefully calibrated to reduce false saturation.
Printing in black
It’s important to set black lines and text that overlap color backgrounds as an overprint. Failure to do so could lead to unwanted white spaces and bad registration.
Rich black refers to 100% black with 40% cyan and/or magenta added. It is used for small black objects positioned on a lighter and darker background. Taking this precaution prevents the background from shining through.
Avoid PostScript problems by carefully naming your spot color files. Make sure to name your spot colors using the standard 27 letters of the alphabet, numerals 0 to 9, and use an underscore instead of a space or bracket.
Text and fonts for trouble-free output
Designers have a creative license when creating content, but there are a few best practices for trouble-free output, including the following.
Text and fonts
OpenType fonts are best for printing. Other options include Type 1, TrueType fonts, Multiple Master, and older Type 3 fonts which may work but are not always supported by various systems.
Other guidelines to follow include;
- Avoid using fonts named after cities as they are only supported by older versions of Mac.
- Don’t use stylized font extensions (such as Helvetica Bold) but rather select the font and then click the bold button.
- Avoid outline and underscore fonts as they don’t reflect well when printed.
- If possible, avoid moving text designs from one platform to another as it may shift the design. If unpreventable, make sure to double-check alignment.
- Don’t apply two or more process colors to text smaller than 8 points, or it could lead to illegible text when printed.
Ritter’s Printing & Packaging
With more than 30 years in the business, Ritter’s Printing & Packaging has earned a reputation for working with integrity, loyalty, and commitment. We pride ourselves on treating every client like family and pay attention to every last detail.
When you trust your project with Ritter’s Printing, you can be confident that you will receive excellence. Our high-quality equipment and modern facility promise a standard of brilliance.
Give us a call at 954-771-7204, or contact us online.