• The image on the left is what I see on my monitor ( CMYK Vector )
  • The image on the right was produced using flexography for a packaging design

The image on the right is dull and murky and doesn't 'pop' as much as it should. I think the yellow is the issue. Is it a possibility that my printer is at fault? Could I ask them to increase the % of yellow?

Would a matte or glossy finishing technique help?

OR is the design itself the issue with too many gradients making it hard to accurately reproduce through print?


It is quite hard to tell from the image that you have posted, but to me it looks like a result of the printing process being unable to reproduce deep or bright colours on the media being used. This is very common on matt and uncoated media.

I would expect LAMINATING (or wet varnishing) to help the colours to "pop"

You should be able to do a test of this by throwing a proof through a laminator in a gloss pouch.

  • 1
    I would agree, it appears to be a result of uncoated stock and ink absorbing into the substrate much more than expected.
    – Scott
    Jul 13 '15 at 14:32
  • I think you might be right about the uncoated stock. I am printing double sided. The issue seems to be only one side ( the inside of the packaging ). Should I ask for double sided stock or does that exist?
    – Cool Brian
    Jul 14 '15 at 9:31
  • Oh I'm sure its available, you'll need to ask your supplier! Jul 15 '15 at 9:43
  • Another thought is (being as I don't know what the packaging is for) - does the inside NEED to be that intense? or would it be adequate as-is? Jul 15 '15 at 9:44

What you see on your monitor is RGB. Yes, it's a CMYK file, and it's likely trying to compensate, but it's still using an RGB model.

As such, what you see on screen is usually always more vibrant/saturated than what CMYK can produce. This is due to the reproducible colors being different in each color space:

enter image description here

Using coated paper and/or applying a top-coat can certainly help your CMYK print look brighter, but ultimately, you are at the mercy of what CMYK can do.

At this point, you need to talk to your printer and get their feedback. They may be able to tweak the file to accommodate. Alternatively, if it is yellow that is the issue, perhaps they can swap Y for a more vibrant Pantone Spot Yellow.


I think the printer is at fault, Check the printers settings and make sure you set them accordingly to the papper type you use, check also the color format, you can also try to make a rgb version and print it to see if the result is any better.

  • Hello and welcome to GD.SE i dont think this is a office printer. This is most probably the reason you got downvoted, printer in this case is a company that prints stuff.
    – joojaa
    Jul 13 '15 at 12:38
  • Sorry, i dind't notice it
    – user5819
    Jul 13 '15 at 15:10
  • yes, flexography = commercial offset printing
    – DA01
    Jul 13 '15 at 16:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.