Color Variance

It's common to experience minor color variations between one printed piece and the next. Check out our guide to secure the best colors possible.


Prints are subject to small degrees of color variance. CMYK printing combines Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ink to produce a full-color image. Therefore, some colors may look slightly different when printed on paper between print runs and at the start and end of a single run.

We cannot always color match against work from other printers, but we always do our best to keep color variation to a minimum. See our recommended CMYK values guide to ensure you get accurate printed colors here

Example 1 of slight colour variance
Colour Variance Example 1
Example 2 of slight colour variance
Colour Variance Example 2

Digital vs Offset

Digital and offset printing presses produce slightly different colors. An industry scale digital printer is like a giant office printer, ideal for small print runs. However, an offset printer uses ink - and metal plates press images onto paper, and it's more efficient for large print runs. Although they both use CMYK inks, they use two different manufacturing processes, so there will be some variation between the two methods.

Litho presses can reproduce colors more consistently than a digital press throughout the entire print run. You can learn more about the differences between these two printing methods here.


Paper Types

Each paper type absorbs CMYK ink differently, so take some time to consider which paper is best for your projects with our Paper guide. For example, if you print the same design on silk and uncoated paper, there will be some color variation.

We recommend satin paper for the most accurate color reproduction, while gloss tends to increase hue saturation. Uncoated or recycled paper darkens and desaturates the final color.



Like paper, lamination can affect your final colors.

For example, satin paper with matte lamination is the most common choice for cover papers because matte lamination reduces shine. Matte lamination, moreover, can desaturate colors slightly and even apply a slight colored tint. Similarly, like with gloss paper, a gloss laminate can enhance color saturation and provide an extra shiny coating to your cover paper.

Booklet cover with matt and gloss lamination

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