At Peterkin our digital printing is four-colour CMYK, but we do use Pantone inks for our Letterpressing.
CMYK stands for C = cyan, M = magenta, Y = yellow, and K = kohl (black in German as B could be confused for blue).
Different ratios these four colours creates a huge spectrum - but it’s not a completely accurate colour system and will vary from printer to printer (and certainly will look different on your screen which displays colours in RGB (red, green, blue).
Letterpress printing, digital samples...
For Letterpress, we use your artwork to create physical plates to make an impression in the card which is then filled with Uncoated Pantone inks (PMS U). The Pantone colour system can deliver an exact colour every time, no matter who’s designing or printing. Be aware that the colour of your stock will influence the colour of your letterpress ink.
Digital printing can approximate lots of Pantone colours, but there will be colour variance and some Pantone colours are impossible to replicate with four-colour digital. It’s not an exact science.
We don’t produce letterpress samples due to the costs involved to create a plate and run the letterpress, which is why the minimum order quantity is 50 pieces. So, a digitally printed sample can give an indication, but it’s not going to 100% replicate a Pantone colour.
Choosing Pantone colours
If you don’t have a Pantone book, you can use their website to find a colour you like - but remember, it will look different on screen. You can then Google the CMYK colour values for that Pantone if you want to have digitally printed items that are a close match to the final Letterpress.
BUT, the easiest and most fail-safe way is to use our recomended Pantone colours that are a close match to our stocks - our Paper Colours Values Chart, lists all our stock colours and their CMYK and Pantone matches. Don’t forget that these values are for our coloured stocks, it’s not possible to have CMYK and Pantone colours for white or very light stocks as there’s not enough pigment - literally no colour!
We try and get as close to the Pantone you choose as we can, but Pantone inks are translucent, which means the colour of any stocks other than white, will affect the end result.
So, if you’re ordering digitally printed samples and will have digital items that are a close match to the letterpress, let us know in the comments when you order so that we can make sure they’re as close as possible.
Check out these easy instructions to set up your design correctly for Letterpress.