Roller Banners UK Colour Guide

Colour Guide – Colours in Print 

There are numerous different colour options when you’re buying printed products. You might see black and white – fairly self explanatory. But what about CMYK? Or full colour printing? How about Pantone? With so many different options out there, it can be tricky to decide which is best for your printed products. We’ve compiled a handy colour guide to help you make the best decision for your custom printed items. 

colour guide - colour in print


CMYK is often referred to as full colour printing, or four colour printing. This is because this method essentially creates all colours out of 4 key colours: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (with the acronym ‘k’ to stand for ‘key colour’). CMYK printing is the most widely used colour printing method and provides excellent results on both litho and digital presses.

CMYK is a reliable method of colour printing – however, if you have branding colours that need to be matched to a fine nuance, it may not be the best choice for you. In these cases, we’d recommend using Pantone colour printing (explained below).



The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is the best option if you need your branding to accurately match your set colours. The PMS allocates numbers to specific colours, and then uses a mix of pigments to create ‘spot’ colours – forming one-colour inks. This means that Pantone colour matching can accurately print specific colours, including pastels and metallic colours. It can also produce fluorescents in a more accurate way then traditional CMYK print. 

At Roller Banners UK we have a 5 colour press – which means we can combine CMYK with an additional Pantone colour, giving you best of both worlds. 



RGB colour is based on three colours – red, green and blue. This type of colour display is found on digital devices, like TVs and computer monitors. It isn’t possible to print in RBG so RBG files would need to be converted into CMYK. Sometimes, the colour results can be varied – especially as digital colour often appears more vibrant (as your screen is lit up) than it would do in the real world. However, using Raster Image Processors we can now convert between the two with a high degree of success. 

CMYK Colour

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black

2645 Pantone swatch

Pantone Matching System

RGB colour wheel

Red, Blue and Green

Colour Conversions

For best results, before submitting your artwork, please make sure that your printed product design is saved in CMYK colour mode; this should also apply to any photographs or graphic areas of your artwork. 

Please note – if you submit a RBG artwork design it will be converted to CMYK for print, which may affect your print results. 


As mentioned in this colour guide, it’s best to convert any RGB artwork to CMYK. Select File > Document Colour Mode > CMYK in Illustrator or Image > Mode > CMYK Colour in Photoshop and Save. If saving as a PDF, review the Save Adobe PDF dialog box and check that Colour Conversion in the Output tab is set to No Conversion.
If you’re working in InDesign, you can convert any RGB images within your design by saving as a PDF and selecting the Press Quality PDF preset in the Save Adobe PDf dialog – then in the Output tab, select Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers) and select a CMYK profile.

If you are unsure about colour or have any questions about our colour guide, then call us on 023 8087 8037 or email us.

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