In this post we will dive a little deeper into the world of CMYK and Offset Printing. The aim is to strip it down and simplify what this means in terms of your print job.

CMYK broken down stands for C for Cyan (blueish colour), M for Magenta (pinkish colour), Y for Yellow and K for Black. With these four colours we are able to produce a vast amount of standard PMS (Pantone Matching System) colours combined with photos. When I say ‘able to produce a vast amount of standard PMS’ colours, what I means is that these four colours can combine to match or very close match to a lot PMS colours. When a VERY specific PMS colour match is required the preferred method is to print that exact PMS colour and inform the print company that this is a requirement.

What is offset printing and how can we really simply this? Offset printing is a printing process that basically transfers ink from the ink station to the printing plate then to a rubber blanket to the printing substrate or stock (paper). So it ‘offsets’ ink, to plate to stock. So a basic four colour printed job will run through four print stations Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and then Black.

Some of our larger offset presses are A1 in size and 8 colours. Using what is known as a perfector, four colours over four colours in one pass. CMYK on the front and CMYK on the back of the stock in one pass of the press speeding up the print process by more than double as there is no time wasted drying before having to send back through the press to print the reverse side. This is how we can produce a next day dispatch service for our CMYK jobs.


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