5 Color Printing Tips for Beginners

by admin on 04/22/2009

by admin  |  April 22, 2009  |  Print Tips

1. Limit Your Use of Color

Yes, I know, UPrinting offers the same low price for full color printing whether you flood the page with color or limit your use to a single stripe, but just because it’s included, that doesn’t mean you have to use it.

In fact, unless you’re printing photographs, try creating your design first in black and white and then adding color from there. In fact, the absence of color can actually enhance a design’s effectiveness.

2. Avoid Swaths of Bright Hues and Strongly Saturated Colors

Vast expanses of deeply saturated purples and vibrant reds can actually stress the eye, making it uncomfortable for the viewer. Large areas of strong colors can even create visual after effects, a phenomenon that causes the viewer to still see remnants of the opposite color when they look away from the image.

You may also want to avoid using bright blues and bright reds together as this can actually create a depth effect similar to the technique used when creating 3-D images.

3. Colors Can Change Color

Just because you choose a color on the color picker, that doesn’t mean that’s necessarily the color you’re going to end up with. Printed size and especially surrounding colors can dramatically change the appearance of a color. This is caused by an effect known as “simultaneous contrast.”

For example, look at this image:

*Image from the Visual Design blog post, The Magic of Simultaneous Contrast,

On both sides, the interior, rust-colored square is actually the same color as its counterpart. However, because surrounding it by different colors makes it appear different. This is simultaneous contrast at work.

4. Avoid Colored Text on a Colored Background

Your best bet for achieving the highest level of legibility is to avoid printing colored text on a colored background. Instead, always provide adequate contrast for your text and stick to black or white text until you’re more comfortable working with color.

5. Color on the Screen is Different than Printed Color

Remember, color on the screen is different than its printed counterparts. For help matching and identifying colors or even just for some more basic color printing tips, contact the UPrinting.com support staff through our online chat or give us a call at 1-888-888-4211 (Monday to Friday, 7AM – 7PM PST)

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