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On-press Common Questions
Q: If I convert my Pantone spot colors to CMYK, will you be able to match the original Pantone color on press?
A: Matching Pantone spot colors using CMYK screen-built equivalents is not an exact science. The Pantone formulas come closer with some colors than others. For most projects, the screen builds are fine. If you need an exact match to a corporate standard or to some other piece already printed with a PMS color, it is advisable to run the job “cmyk + spot”. For more information on the Pantone Matching System, go to www.pantone.com. Pantone sells a color chart that compares original spot colors with their CMYK equivalents, side by side. Purchasing this guide is a wise investment if you use Pantone colors as a basis for color work in your layout files.

Q: Should I print my job on coated or uncoated paper?
A: If you are printing in multiple colors, have halftones, CMYK images, or heavy solids, coated papers generally yield better results. Because uncoated papers absorb more ink than coated ones, projects printed on uncoated paper can suffer from excessive “dot gain,” which causes an overall darkening of images, reduction in contrast, and loss of detail.

Q: Why doesn’t the proof you gave me look like my color laser comp?
A: Laser printers are not calibrated to produce CMYK or Pantone colors accurately. Our high-resolution digital proofer gives a much more accurate representation of the color definition in your file than your laser printer, and will be a closer match to what you see on the press. If you like the color of the laser comp better than what you see in our proof, you may need to alter the color definitions in your file. For more information about the Pantone Matching System, go to www.pantone.com.

Q: Can I use a metallic ink on my job?
A: Metallics are a mixture of metal flakes and varnish and are generally used to best effect on coated papers. Since they are more susceptible to scuffing than standard inks, a varnish coat is advisable. Avoid designs that call for trapping a metallic to a process ink. Process inks are transparent; metallics are opaque. Because they transmit light differently, trapping a metallic to a process ink can produce a graying effect.