How Five-Color Printing Can Make Your Signage Pop
At its core, signage has two jobs: Get your audience’s attention, and convey your message — consistently — so it sticks. It sounds simple. But being off by just a shade — quite literally — can cost you one or both of these objectives. For this reason, great designs must always be paired with great color management.
Customer attention is difficult to come by. Catching eyes has become an art in and of itself, one that largely relies on contrast, bright colors and memorable visuals. To this end, many printers are expanding their color gamut, giving their design teams a veritable warehouse of tools with which to produce the perfect sign.
Many shops are embracing clear toner. In addition to its uses in creating security features for certificates, tickets and gift cards, clear toner enables printers to apply distinctive patterns that help signage stand out. The faintness of the clear coat, while still maintaining clarity, demands readers stop and give your sign a closer look. Once they do that, your sign’s work is already half done.
Meanwhile, white toner garners attention for the opposite reason: It’s hard to ignore. The human eye has been trained to read dark text on a light background. It’s the default mode of communication and one that has served the written word well. It’s the perfect setup for inverting expectations, printing white images on dark substrates to achieve eye-catching effects — and producing pitch-perfect halftones, a level of color-nuance not often seen in signage.
Your customers’ demands don’t stop there. They want more high-value, premium applications. Neon toners like pink and yellow can address these demands and give your shop the ability to go bigger and go brighter to deliver a broader application set.
Output capabilities aren’t the only factor. Sometimes, it comes down to accuracy.
Many printers employ color management software, while others partner with color experts to help analyze and address where color gaps occur. These relationships — between printers and experts; printers and software; and even printers, software and experts together — are the foundation of sound color management. Color management partners can visit once and establish color consistency processes, or they can extend the relationship in the form of training and/or ongoing support. That can make a real difference, both in your understanding of how color works in your shop and in how your signage is perceived out in the world.
Color isn’t just clarity. It’s a brand, a memorable representation of you and your messaging. Knowing that you can get exactly the color you need, every time you need it, can play a huge role in crafting that brand. So next time you’re struggling to make your signage pop, think of what colors pull your focus to them, how you can use them, and how you can leverage your shop’s capabilities — and relationships — to get the most out of them.