Picking Ink Colors

An Introduction to Color Systems

  • PMS - (Pantone Matching System) Uses solid colors, known as "Spot Colors". This is a universal color system used as a standard throughout the printing industry.
  • CMYK - Uses 4 colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) blended together to create new colors and gradients. Known as "four color process" it is used for high quality, photo images.
  • RGB - Uses 3 different color pixels (Red, Green, Blue) arranged to create new colors in displaying images on screens. It is a digital color system that is NOT used in printing.

We use PMS colors for our quick print and traditional tags. We use CMYK for our digital tags. Traditional printing is best for 1-2 colors with simple logos and line copy on tags. Digital printing is best for high quality images on tags.


Color Matching

Using PMS color numbers as reference are the best route in commuincating the specific color wanted. A Pantone Uncoated/Coated Formula Guide for spot colors will give you the best example of the finished product. As of 2023, there are 2,161 ink formulations that are used for specification and quality control in the printing industry. A Pantone Color Bridge is used for comparing PMS spot colors to their closest CMYK process printing equivalent in finding the best possible match.


Things to keep in mind

  • Paper Color - The paper color you choose will influence your final print result. We highly recommended that you print only dark ink on a light tag stock. 
  • Ink Color - Our inks are not entirely opaque, which at times can allow the paper color underneath to show through. We cannot print in white ink because white has no hue, it cannot be made by mixing ink colors together. cannot be held responsible for your ink selection and look resulting from choice of ink/paper combination.


In-Stock PMS Spot Ink Colors

Below are all of our in-house colors that are available for no extra charge. Custom colors are available upon request for an additional charge. Basic Pantone colors are known by names "Warm Red", "Reflex Blue" while all other non-basic colors are known by their PMS numbers. These colors are only meant as a graphical reference and will differ from your final printed tag. 


Please note that these colors are not to be used for color matching and will appear different on every monitor due to inconistent settings and hardware among PCs/mobile devices.