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How to Provide the Correct Color Modes for Your Labels and Hang Tags

By Michael Lau   Ι  2024-2-26

author

Hi, I’m the author of this post and have been in wholesale labels and hangtags for over 17 years. If you want to know anything about our products or require help please feel free to ask me at any time!

When communicating with suppliers about product designs and colors, accurately providing the required color modes can save a significant amount of time in your international trade. Here are the color modes needed for woven labels, printed labels, and hang tags:

Woven Labels:

Please provide Pantone (TPG or C card) or CMYK for matching yarn colors. Do not use RGB or HEX.

Printed Products (Printed Labels, Hang Tags):

For solid color printing, provide Pantone (TPG or C card); For complex designs, high-resolution artwork is sufficient.

woven label color match

More information about the 4 different color modes:

In graphic design, designers typically use the following four color modes to represent colors:

 

RGB (Red, Green, Blue):

RGB
  • It obtains other colors through the combination of these three colors and can generate almost all colors perceptible to the human eye.
  • RGB is only used for digital designs, such as electronic posters, websites, social media posts, and other visual content that only needs to be displayed on screens.
  • Not suitable for printing products like printed labels, hang tags, packaging, or matching yarn colors for woven labels due to BIG variations in how RGB colors are displayed on different screens and environments.
  • RGB colors consist of 3 sets of numbers, with each color channel separated by commas. For example: 230,63,49

HEX:

HEX
  • Same as RGB, except HEX is hexadecimal and RGB is decimal.
  • HEX represents a color by a six-digit combination of numbers and letters, such as #FF0000.
  • HEX and RGB are both commonly used digital design color representation methods, and they can be converted to each other.

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/Black):

CMYK printing
  • CMYK is very similar to the ink cartridges in your home printer. If you have ever replaced the ink in a home inkjet printer, you may have noticed that there are 4 colors of cartridges: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black). This setup is the same as industrial printing machines.
  • The working principle is to make a separate printing pattern for each of the 4 colors, and then overlay the printing of these 4 colors to produce other colors.
  • If you need to print designs with a large number of colors, gradients, or shadows, CMYK is the most suitable choice, such as for the printed products shown below.

PMS (Pantone Matching System):

PMS
  • A proprietary color system developed in 1962 to standardize colors for consistency between you and your vendor.
  • In addition to solid colors, Pantone also provides special colors like neon, fluorescent, and metallic colors that CMYK cannot produce.
  • The printing technician obtains the required PMS color by mixing the ink, and only needs to print once to obtain the final color. There is no need for color superposition during the printing stage.
  • Ideal for non-gradient designs with high color accuracy requirements or special color effects as mentioned. Here is an example:

Q&A

Q-1: Should I use PMS or CMYK for my single-color printed products?

Should I use PMS or CMYK for my single-color printed products_1
  • PMS colors are pre-mixed inks purchased from certified suppliers, ensuring consistent colors globally. PMS provides higher color accuracy but at a slightly higher cost compared to CMYK printing.
  • For single-color printing, CMYK offers flexibility and cost-effectiveness, especially for large print runs. However, color accuracy and consistency are not as high as with PMS.
  • Therefore, if you need to ensure accurate color matching for your printed products and can afford the higher cost, PMS may be the better choice. But if you don’t require high color accuracy and have a limited budget, CMYK may be more suitable.

Q-2: I only have RGB or HEX. What should I do?

I only have RGB or HEX. What should I do

If you can’t provide PMS or CMYK color codes, our design team can assist in matching the closest PMS color for production. We’ll also provide FREE physical samples for your approval before mass production.

If you have any further questions or need assistance, our team is here to help. Feel free to contact us anytime. We look forward to providing you with the best solutions.

Get an instant quote from our most experienced consultants.

We will contact you within 1 business day, please pay attention to the email with the suffix “@jbtindustry.com”.

Get an instant quote from our most experienced consultants.

We will contact you within 1 business day, please pay attention to the email with the suffix “@jbtindustry.com”.