CMYK VS PMS: Which Color Model to Use for Your Packaging?

CMYK VS PMS Which Color Model to Use for Your Packaging

Packaging is one of the most important things for a brand. It promotes your products as well as identifies your brand. When it comes to packaging, there are several factors to consider in order to ensure a good impression on your customers. Choosing a color model for your packaging printing is one of the major factors to consider, as color can make or break your packaging design. Here is a guide to help you decide which color model to use for your next packaging project, i.e., CMYK or PMS.

Pros and cons of PMS

Advantages of PMS

  • With PMS, you can reproduce the same colors with accuracy.
  • You can bring out actual shades on the first run with PMS.
  • All PMS hues are standardized throughout the world.
  • Using 18 base inks, it forms 1867 standard print colors currently.
  • PMS has a broader Color Range.

Disadvantages of PMS

  • Pantone inks are expensive and tend to be cost-ineffective for text printing.
  • PMS guide books are required, which are costly.
  • Spot colors require special printing machines that are less accessible to users who aren’t engaged in the printing business.

When to use PMS

When color accuracy is required

There are several points when accuracy is required in packaging printing, such as printing the brand logo. For such applications, going for PMS is the right choice, as it can provide you with the same colors every time you print. Whereas CMYK lacks color accuracy, and with each print, it gives a slightly different color.

Large format boxes

  • PMS spot colors are the only choice for printing on a large format box to bring out the accurate colors.
  • When the single run is required
  • When you are printing on fabric packaging, it needs a single run as multiple runs can ruin the fabric. CMYK cannot bring out the accurate hues in a single run. Thus, PMS is the right choice for such printing.

High volume

If you have to print a high volume, PMS is the right choice to make. Print plates are the major investment here, and if the volume is high, the cost per print gets lower.

Pros and cons of CMYK

Advantages of CMYK

  • Cost-effective for text printing.
  • No standardization guide books are required.
  • Easily accessible to everyone.

Disadvantages of CMYK

  • Lack of international standardization of hues.
  • Lack of color accuracy.
  • Simulates only 55% of standard PMS print colors.

When to use CMYK

Multi-colored printing

If your packages require producing a realistic image or design, which needs multi-colors, CMYK is the way to go. Although there are chances of variation in hues, you can ask your vendor to perform press checks to ensure the same shades.

Low volume

If you need a low volume of packages, PMS will cost-ineffective. Each color requires a separate print plate, which incurs additional costs. Thus, when you need low-volume prints, you should go for CMYK to keep your cost as low as possible.

In-house printing

If you are printing your packages on your own, PMS can prove to be costly for you. You have to purchase special machines, separate print plates for each design and color, and PMS guide books. To avoid all that and save on cost, CMYK is the right choice.

When color accuracy is not required

PMS inks are expensive, which results in high bills for your packaging printing project. If color accuracy is not required, you can go for CMYK to save some cash.

ShopRigidBoxes is well-versed with the pros and cons of different color models used in the packaging industry. Get in touch with us today to get the right color model for your packaging needs!

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