Color Correcting for Print: Printful Print-On-Demand

Imagine that you spent hours creating your
design, but after it got printed on a t-shirt, the colors were completely different from
how they appeared on the screen. How did this happen and how do you fix this? You’ll find out in today’s video about color
correcting for print. Hey, it’s Wes from Printful. There aren’t many things our DTG process can’t
achieve! However, when choosing the colors for your
artwork, it’s important to note that they may look different printed on a real product
than the colors you see on your computer screen. In the next few minutes, you’ll learn why
it’s important to color correct your designs, how to order color swatches, and how to color
correct your designs according to the swatches. If you’re new to this channel, subscribe
and check out our videos that will help you get started with your own print-on-demand
business. Let’s begin. Why is color correcting important? If you’re running an online store you know
the value of the first impression more than anyone. When a person buys a product from your store
for the first time, you want to meet their expectations and make them part of your brand
community. Those expectations are met if the customer
receives a product similar to the one they see on screen. As you saw at the start of the video, the
colors in our original design did not look well on a printed product. So what causes this difference? The human eye can distinguish up to 10 million
shades of color, and everyone perceives each color a little differently. You might remember a particular post about
a dress going viral a few years ago, where some people saw it as white and gold, while
others—black and blue. Our computer monitors, on the other hand,
can display more than 16 million colors, but not all monitors reproduce colors the same
way. Some show a warmer image due to the dominance
of yellow color, while others can show a cooler image that has more blue in it. Then the DTG printing process comes in, where
more factors can impact color representation on a printed product, like fabric material
and garment color, presence of a white underbase, and color spaces in which designs are created. Because of this, we can’t guarantee a 100%
color accuracy. However, there are ways you can make sure
the colors on the screen are as close as possible to what your customers get. Here’s how. Let’s start with your monitor. If you work with graphic design, video, or
photography it’s best to calibrate your monitors to show the most accurate representation of
your work. This can be achieved with tools that measure
the color response of your monitors and create a specific color profile for your system to
show the correct colors. For example our video team uses Datacolor
Spyder 5 calibration device, which helps us achieve better results when we’re color
grading our videos. When your monitor is all set up, it’s time
to create some designs. The two most popular color spaces are RGB
and CMYK. RGB, which stands for Red, Green, and Blue,
has a wider gamut than CMYK, meaning that is can express a wider range of colors. Print files that are made in RGB color space
can be saved in PNG format, which allows you to have transparent backgrounds. CMYK, which stands for cyan, magenta, yellow,
and black, is the color space used when printing, but print files with this color space
cannot be exported as PNG files. Our printers accept both PNG and JPEG files
and then convert them from RGB to CMYK for printing purposes. If the design was created within the RGB color
space with colors that are outside of the CMYK color gamut this conversion might affect
your colors. That’s why we suggest you design your file
within the CMYK color space, but convert the file to RGB before saving. For best possible accuracy, convert the file
to sRGB color profile. This way your colors will stay within the
gamut. To help you understand how colors look on
screen versus printed, we offer color swatches. They’re important because you can have a physical
reference of how RGB colors are reproduced in print. This way you can create designs where printed
and on-screen colors are closely matched. We offer two different types of color swatches
for DTG: ones that are printed on white garments, and ones that are printed on colorful garments
with using a white under base. You can also create your own color swatches
to test specific colors you want to use in your designs. Let’s take a look at where you can order color
swatches on Printful. How to order color swatches? Once you log in to your Printful account,
in the Printful Dashboard click on New Order. It’s located in the top right corner. A new window will open where you’ll need
to select a store if you have more than one. You’ll then have two order options. You’ll find color swatches in the sample order
section, which also gives you a 20% discount. Under sample order click on “Create your
order.” Next, you’ll be taken to a new page where
you can either choose a specific product for a sample order by clicking on “Add product”,
or you can use the quick links at the bottom of the page for products that you can sample
color swatches for, like t-shirts, mugs, leggings, and others. You can see that there are two options for
t-shirts, that’s because the colors reproduce differently on black and white garments. We recommend ordering both if you can. I want to improve the colors in my design
when it’s printed on a color t-shirt. Let’s click on the black t-shirt quick link. A new window will open up, where a black Unisex
Premium T-Shirt has been added for you automatically with a color swatch print file already centered
and placed within the safe print area. In this window you can select the size and
color of the t-shirt, as well as check which variants of this product are available for
fulfillment in our USA and Europe locations. You should order color swatches only for products
that have a 12×16 print area. That’s all men’s shirts starting from size
S, or women’s shirts from XL. RGB values will be too difficult to read on
anything smaller. If you want to see how the colors come out
on a white shirt, press on a white t-shirt quick link instead. It will contain a color swatch without an
underbase, since white underbase isn’t put on white garments. You can also print color swatches on other
DTG products. In the editing window click Back to Browse
and select a different product. You can order color swatches for a selection
of other product categories we offer—just check the quick links available at the bottom
of the page. For embroidery, we have a specially created
embroidery sample you can order to check out the embroidery area, and how our stitches,
embroidery methods, and thread colors look. To order it, click on Add product, select
Hats, choose all embroidered hats, scroll down until you see the embroidery sample. Click on it, then press continue. Once you’ve chosen all the swatches you want
to order , continue through the order process as usual. How to color correct your designs. I got my color swatch with a white underbase
printed on a black shirt. As you can see, each color has its RGB value,
which I can input in Photoshop. Unless you ordered a custom swatch based on
the colors you plan to use in your designs, we recommend using for your designs the color
palette from the colors in the standard swatch sample. For this example, we already have a print
file with a design placed on a transparent background. When we printed our design without doing color
correction, the actual design did not turn out as vibrant as it appears on screen. Some parts like the shadow of the moon lost
contrast because the colors ended up being too close in tone. So now I’ll show you how to color correct
based on our swatches. I’ll open up the original print file and
create a new layer where our new colors are going to be placed. Next, you need to activate your color panel
where you’ll insert RGB values for the new colors. To do that, select Window at the very top
and choose Color. This will add a color panel to your workspace. Currently, we have the Hue Cube, to change
this panel click here and select “RGB Sliders.” Here you can insert the RGB values from the
color swatch. We’ll also use the paint bucket tool to
apply new colors to our design. Pay attention to the panel that will become
available once you select this tool. You want to make sure that the box next to
All Layers is checked. Otherwise, you’ll be filling the entire
layer with a single color. The same applies to the box next to Contiguous. When this box is checked it allows you to
replace the color within a single element. If it’s left unchecked then you’ll apply
color correction to the pixels of the same color in the entire design. The next steps are easy, just select the color
from the color swatch that best matches your idea for the design, insert the values in
the RGB color panel and, with the paint bucket tool selected, click on the color that needs
to be changed. It might take some time until you find the
colors that you like the most. Here you can see the corrected result. It matches the original a lot better and the
colors are more vibrant and stand out. On our screens, the colors may seem too bright,
but it’s important to remember that these colors are based on the RGB values from a
printed color swatch. If you’re having difficulties with correcting
the color of your design, make sure to reach out to our Graphic Design Services team, who’ll
be happy to help you out! We always introduce new content with the idea
that it’ll help our audience achieve new heights in their business. Leave a like to show support for our video
and let us know how often you color correct your designs.