Warning: Do Not Print on Colored Stock
“Many designers make the mistake of printing their designs on colored stock, which ends up distorting the ink colors and makes the design hard to see.”
This from a list of “typical mistakes” made by those designing for print, according to “Vladimir” (let’s just grant him some anonymity, shall we?).
Oh, it is still painful. Especially as Vladimir is from a printing company and shared his “insights” on a design blog. This is so black and white, so all or nothing, so…wrong.
Where was the hint of the amazing opportunities that a colored stock can provide? The promise that an uncoated and colored sheet might speak softer, and thus enhance the message of the piece?
Granted, depending on the color of the paper, CMY and K will have a dramatically different look. Printed on a cream stock, they have a warmer feel; printed on a paper with a blue or cool hue, the image highlights will be the color of the paper, reducing the image’s contrast.
But there are ways around this (under-printing comes to mind). As a good print service provider, you can offer draw downs so your client sees the colors he will actually get on press.
Or even better yet, encourage your client to be bold, to embrace and enhance the design with his/her paper choice. Just off the top of my head I can think of ample ways to do so:
On darker stocks, encourage:
- Foil stamping—a contrasting color, or even a clear foil, can offer an incredible effect.
- Blind embossing—subtle, elegant, yet always a great statement.
- White ink—if you have a white unit on your Indigo press, push the proverbial envelope. You might need a few clicks depending on the color of the paper, but the effect can be remarkable.
On lighter stocks: