I'm designing a flyer, and want to use a bright gold for the logo/header text to convey a sense of luxury and professionalism. Making the printed flyers glossy should go some way to achieving this, but some research has also told me that CMYK gold can present problems, so I want to be sure that I get exactly the right colour.

What are the recommended CMYK values for the kind of gold shine that I'm looking for?

  • 1
    Are you faking some of the shine/highlights or are you looking for a solid color?
    – curious
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 22:54
  • @curious Just one solid colour. Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 23:08
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    I think this is a matter of opinion. Different people have different ideas of what "gold" should look like.. as well as "luxury" -- graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/5221/… -- graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/122844/… --graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/87247/… --graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/120975/…
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 1:16
  • @Scott All of those links refer to much more than solid colours. To be clearer, it's not so much the surface of gold that I want to emulate as one solid golden-looking colour. It may be slightly subjective, but I think it being a "bright" gold makes it much less so, and in any case the vast majority of answers on a site like graphic design are always bound to be. I'm sure there are plenty of designers here that must have a go-to CMYK recipe when they need to use a bright gold, and who knows, maybe a consensus can even be found among them. Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 1:35
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    @Hashim the color on your linked image only works because of the other colors around it, highlights and shadows. Isolated it won't look like gold.
    – Luciano
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 10:03

1 Answer 1


There's no such thing as a CMYK gold.

What you need is a special color which should be marked as 'spot' color in your source file and shaped like the logo and header text. Convert text to outlines and the logo to a single color then apply a pink to all these and make it a 'spot' pink set to 'overprint'.

No, I don't know how to do that in Photoshop, but I'm sure its doable. For flyers going to print with gold on top, better use more print-oriented apps like AI or ID, which can export true-vector, print-ready PDFs.

Then talk to whoever will be printing this 'luxury flyer' and make sure they understand the spot color you've used is supposed to be printed in gold. They will then probably take a bucket of PANTONE 16-0836 TPX Rich Gold or Honey Gold or similar to print your logo on top of your flyer as a separate process.

Yes, these are special metallic colors that come in special cans and have nothing to do with CMYK values.

enter image description here

  • 1
    +1 It is doable in Photoshop. You would simply add a new channel, set it to a spot colour, and choose a Pantone Metallic colour from the built-in swatch book, then place the artwork only in that channel. However, it's quite difficult to work with spot colours in Photoshop, it's much easier in AI or InD.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 16:52

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