The Colors Matched When I Picked Them Out. Why Don't They Match Now?

Why we can’t match the colors your desktop printer and monitor show you. You may have never seen an accurate
color print of the graphic you are looking at and you may never be happy with the color of the graphic you want
us to make unless you understand how light and file preparation effect colors.

The files must be formatted in cmyk for printing not rgb. Rgb colors are used for computer monitors and
those colors are back lit unlike the print you will receive from us. Your monitor settings reflect the color you
see. Your desktop printer may not have proper settings to print the exact colors as well.

Our state of the art ONYX color managment software that sells for approx $5,000. reads your files and
applies color print profiles to the type of material you have chosen for us to use on your sign.
There is a slight color shift depending on the type of material. Some materials absorb
the ink droplets some materials do not absorb the droplets so a matte finish material may look on the dull
side compared to a glossy surface.

The color that we actually see is directly connected to the light source.
For example, the color of a banana is yellow because it reflects the yellow ray in the white light.
Where there is more yellow in the light source, more yellow is reflected and visible to the eye. In other words,
the colors you see depend on the amount and color of light being reflected or absorbed by the surface we print
your graphic on.

What this means is if you pick a color for us to use it will look different depending on the light. If your graphic
is to go inside under artificial lighting the best thing to do is to pick colors in the environment the graphic will
be installed at. Realize the surrounding colors will effect the colors you pick or the colors on the graphic files
you gave us to use also.

Vector Art (adobe illustrator, corel draw, eps) are basically line art and we can edit colors for vector art before we print.
Raster Art (jpg, photshop, tif, bitmap) are basically like a photo and we can edit the brightness, contrast and intensity

It is impossible to manage color under incorrect lighting conditions, especially prints.
The red squares (or are they pink?!) at the top of the "X" are
the exact same color as those at the bottom.
same blue top and bottom
If you always viewed colors under the same light sources there would never be a problem. In the real world,
however, there are many different types and colors of lighting so it is not surprising that you encountered this problem.

The easiest way to avoid having metamerism create a color mismatch is to always make your final color selection
by looking at actual samples of the color where it will be used and under the same lighting conditions.
Considered the ideal light source, natural sunlight
maintains a neutral balance between the warm (yellow
cast) and cool (blue cast) ends of the light spectrum.
Northern light is the coolest, while lights from a southern
exposure is most intense. Here, direct sunlight provides
the truest rendition of the colors in this room
Natural sunlight is not consistent. It changes
throughout the day, from sunrise to sunset.
The intense golden rays and subsequent
distinct shadows of a sunny late afternoon have
a profound effect on the colors in this room

                   Benjamin Moore Color Language 2010
Did You Know:
Surrounding colors impact how
any one color is percieved. An
ivory wall can appear pink when
paired with a vibrant red carpet.
Color - A Function of Light

Have you ever seen a paint chip or color that you absolutely loved in a store
but found it looked completely different when you took it home? You’ve just
experienced “metamerism” a phenomenon whereby colors seem to change
when viewed under different light sources. It’s always best to view color swatches
in the actual space and lighting conditions in which they’ll be used. Some colors
are particularly prone to metamerism, including tans, taupes, grays, grayed-blues,
mauves, lilacs and grayed yellow-greens.
The color rendition in this room appears warm under
incandescent and halogen lights, where reds and
yellows are enhanced, and blues and greens are dulled.
Under the cool cast of fluorescent lights, blues and
greens are enhanced, while reds and yellows are muted.
What we can do about all this information?

1. understand that color management will not be perfect

2. Be sure the graphic software is using cmyk instead of rgb

3. select spot colors from our pantone chart to come close
to the colors you want

4. for jpg bitmap type files understand we are limited in our
ability to change individual spot colors.

5. understand how light, type of surface we print on and
background colors will effect the final product

6. if budget allows spend more to get actual color proofs on
the same material your sign will be printed on.

7. Select colors in the same light conditions your graphic will
be seen.