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Which colour guide is right?

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by javax, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. javax

    javax New Member


    I would be very grateful if anyone could help me with the following problem.

    Which colour guide should I use? (CMYK)

    My print partner ( ) prints 4/4 euroscale products using “ISO Coated with FOGRA 27”

    Which one should I use?:icon_confused:

    PANTONE PLUS CMYK Coated & Uncoated
    ( )
    HKS colour book?
    ( )
    Will there be a difference between the two for CMYK final printouts (for the same values)?
    (I know that they use HKS for spot colours but I don't need it. I am only interested in the CMYK)

    Thank you.
  2. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Set your pdf colour output to Coated FOGRA27 (ISO..... and that will get you as close to saxoprints profiles as possible.
  3. javax

    javax New Member

    Thank you for your reply and the advice.

    Yes, this is exactly what I do but I wouldn’t want to rely all the time on my computer monitor.

    I could design and print a colour guide brochure myself and print it using my print partner. This would probably provide me with good colour samples but I don’t want to spend a lot of time and £400 for something which I might get cheaper and without all the hassle.

    Does your advice mean that the colour guides which I mentioned will not get me very close to the final colours on paper when printed by saxoprint?
  4. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    The best thing you can do is invest in a colour calibrator for your computer to ensure what you're looking at is as close to true CMYK as you can get. After that there's only really your pdf colour output that you can adjust. Designing everything in spot colour and then converting to process will be no more accurate than designing in cmyk in the first place.
    javax likes this.
  5. javax

    javax New Member

    Thanks so much, I think this is the answer I have been looking for.

    By the way, do you know any calibrator worth buying?
  6. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I've never used one but a quick google brings up a pretty long list of reviews of various calibrators ranging from £70-£500+
  7. javax

    javax New Member

    That's what I have already done but I thought that you might have your own experience which you would like to share.
    Thank you bigdave for helping me out.
    I have now order a Spyder4pro and hopefully I will get it by tomorrow.
  8. Always remember - you don't design in CMYK or RGB. You design in a specific CMYK or RGB. AdobeCS ships with the NA Prepress Defaults of sRGB and US WebCoated SWOP, but you can change those to whatever you like. (and you should!) It's worth taking some time to understand what they are. FOGRA 27 for example... represents all the colours that can be produced by an offset printer calibrated to the ISO 12647-2 standard, using positive plates, paper type 1 or 2 (gloss or matte coated offset, 115 g/m2), and a screen frequency 60/cm. If you design in that colour space, and your pdf save settings don't change the space, it doesn't matter if your file drops the colour management, you're working to the standard saxo are outputting. If you're always designing for them - that's your quick answer, just design in their space to start with.

    But that's quite restricting if you design for anything else.

    In the image below the solid shape is FOGRA27, and the wireframe shape is all the colours I can print on a particular vinyl. If you design in FOGRA27 you can't specify all the colours we can print. Where's the fun in that!?
    FOGRA27 vs 3811G Vinyl.JPG

    In answer to your question - if you design with the colours you WANT (pantone spots to define them) then the printer should be able to give you the nearest he knows how to achieve. That may be limited to FOGRA27, or more likely today FOGRA39. Some of us go further :) . Your monitor shouldn't be trusted UNLESS it's calibrated regularly AND your lighting is taken into account to. (PS. You can get carried away, my office is one big daylight lightbox, and my walls and carpets are neutral grey. It makes colour viewing good, but it's all a bit dull :) )

    This linked article was written by digital colour expert Mike Adams Colour Spaces | Hudson and it talks about the key foundations anyone specifying digital colour should master. It's wide format centric, but it applies across the board. Hope it's useful to you.

    All the best,

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