With many local print shops available for your network members to use when producing your print materials, it’s important to make sure the colors of your brand are consistent. Many distributed networks allow their franchise owners or sales representatives the ability to pull art files from an online portal to print locally to save time and money. But what are you really saving if the colors of your brand are compromised?
A brand’s identity is heavily dependent on the Pantone or PMS colors in it's marketing collateral. Any variation of this unique color is detrimental to the image of the brand. So how can this be prevented? Since color consistency is key, here are five tips to keep in mind to help you find your print guru.
1. In-house ink laboratory
In-house ink laboratories guarantee color consistency. Chemists that manage the ink laboratories work with pressmen as a team to make sure your PMS colors are mixed to perfection. Does your printer have an ink laboratory in house?
2. Ink draw down
Ink draw downs are samples of your colors printed on the exact paper stock the collateral will be printed on. With these, you will be able to fold your ink draw down and match against previous collateral to make sure the colors are an exact match.
3. Epson proof with PMS layer verification
Epson proofs (high quality proofs with true-to-print color) can only give you an idea for four color process. Make sure your printer provides you with a clear layer of the PMS color for guidance of where the PMS will be applied on the artwork. With this type of proofing the printer is guaranteeing their work to print exactly as you see on the Epson proof and PMS layer, thus honoring your colors.
4. Inks have brands too!
Ask your printer to use the same brand of high quality ink for all your printed pieces. Not every ink brand prints the same. Use discrimination when choosing your brand of ink and then stick with that brand.
5. Color Density Check on Press Okays
During press Okays or Press Checks, does the printer have a calibrated color scanner that reads the density of your color? Here you will be able to spot check for inconsistencies and then fix the issue before the run. It is also important to have someone with high awareness of your brand’s colors present at big press Okays to ensure that your Pantone color matches your previously printed samples.
Color consistency supports brand identity. It’s one or two colors that elicit visceral reactions from loyalists that keep them connected to who you are as a brand.
It’s worth every penny and every bit of the effort to make sure your colors are honored and consistent in your marketing pieces. So if these 5 points aren't attainable at the local level, make them attainable by offering an online portal of pre-printed pieces to be ordered on demand. That way your Network members are procuring their printed collateral easily, and your colors aren't compromised.