Color Matching

The colors that you see on your monitor are made with red, green and blue light. When printed, they must be converted to the four colors of toner that the digital printer uses to print. This conversion will cause color changes. The color on the monitor is not a truthful representation of what the color will look like when printed. Not only does every monitor show color differently, it can show many colors that are unprintable by any printer.

How to Match Color

You will need to adjust your monitor or file to match our output; we cannot adjust our printer to match your file.

Your Options:

  • Convert everything to CMYK before you submit your files. Your file will have a closer appearance onscreen to the actual printed output.
  • Adjust your monitor appearance to match your printed proof, and make changes to the file as necessary.
  • If you are using Adobe Create Suite software, use the View>Proof Setup option to view your proof using the CMYK Working Space (Coated GRACol 2006 Color Space, see the Software Settings below).

Our Digital Printers

Our high-quality printers print in CMYK color and are calibrated to G7 color standards. We calibrate and test daily to insure that our color is consistent from day-to-day for visual accuracy.

Your software settings

If you use Adobe Creative Suite, you can set your color settings to match those that we use:

  • RGB: Adobe RGB (1998)
  • Coated GRACoL 2006 (ISO 12647-2:2004)
  • Intent: Relative Colorimetric

Gorham Printing cannot provide software support for your specific software. We recommend learning more about color management settings from your software manufacturer. Also, be aware that changing default color management settings can result in unexpected color changes in your file, make changes carefully.

Design Tips for Best Digital Color

  • For photographs only, you will get the richest and most accurate printed colors by keeping your images in RGB mode. However, your screen will show RGB images inaccurately, and will show them brighter than they will print. So as long as you do not consider your printed RGB images to look like your screen, keeping them as RGB will result in the best printout.
  • For flat areas of solid color, create that color using CMYK, not RGB, resulting in a strong color shift.
  • DO NOT USE PANTONE SPOT COLORS in your file, the color will not print correctly. Spot colors are only for use on an offset printing press.
  • Black type should be 100% black (K only: no C, M, or Y). Keep your type vector whenever possible, not screened.
  • White type should be 100% white. Keep your type vector whenever possible.

Question: "My Proof doesn't match what's on my home computer."

Your monitor will not match our printout, this is virtually guaranteed. So which version is correct, your home computer or our printout? Our printers are calibrated to a known standard daily. Your monitor may show an inaccurate view of your file in many ways, the color may be off (it can be too blue, too red, or too yellow, for example), or your monitor can be too bright. Essentially, your monitor is lying to you, by showing you an incorrect view of your file. To achieve best color, you will need to first purchase a printed proof, and if you see anything you would like to change about the printed proof, you will need to adjust your file, and resubmit for another printed proof.