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Large format print machines whether it be solvent, UV, Latex or Dye sublimation all use a CMYK Printing process.  The name CMYK refers to the colours, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.  The K in Black is a lithographic printing term when metal plates were produced for print presses.  The K refers to the work ‘Key’ because black is often used as outline and printed first, with the other colours lining up to the black ‘Key’; plate.   Some sources say the K refers to the last letter of Black as not to confuse with blue as blue is used in other print techniques.

Piezo print heads layer small dots of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black to create a wide range of colours which are digitally printed.  Digital printing is ideal for printing one off artworks on large format printers without the need of making print plates which incurs expensive setup costs.    When over-layed these dots of colour produce a 4 colour image.  Some modern printheads can make larger and smaller dots to create a higher definition print giving greater clarity to halftones and lighter print areas.


The CMYK print process allows us to print a vast array of colours, quickly and cost efficiently. It is not always possible to replicate all Spot or Pantone colours.  Around 85% of Pantone & Spot colours are achievable using a 4 colour CMYK process but brighter colours are sometimes unachievable. Spot and Pantone colours are produced using inks created individually for each spot / pantone colour.  These colours are not created overlaying dots of colours from a CMYK 4 colour process hence that certain bright colours are not achievable using this colour gamut restrictions.


We can Pantone match certain colours but cannot guarantee an exact match.  We will endeavour to match as close as possible to loiter chosen colour using the CMYK Process.  Some Pantone colours that are impossible to match due to colour gamut restrictions are Bright Oranges, Bright Greens and Bright Electric blues.

Pantone matching is a time consuming process.  If you require Colour matching please inform us before ordering as colour matching will incur an extra fee of £30+vat per colour match.

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