Recently ordered a 10x3ft 15oz laminated vinyl banner for every-day outdoor use.

This is what the banner looks like:

enter image description here

The colors used are:

White #ffffff

Blue #0071bc

Grey #8c8b8b

Black #000000

Even though the blue looks vivid and bright in the PSD design, when translated onto a vinyl banner, the blue looks very dim and loses all the brightness. Similar results happen with the grey, which I was hoping would look more like silver (the colors black and white are rendered perfectly).

I'm getting ready to re-order the same banner, but this time I want to make sure that the blue and the grey come out just as bright as they do on a computer screen / photoshop design.

I researched and found that cyan might be the best blue hue to achieve a bright blue color similar to the one shown on the image above. But at the same time, when I use cyan on this banner design in photoshop, the color looks like such a different blue. (My company corporate colors revolve around the blue shown in the image).

I have another design of this banner, which I also wanted to get printed to have some variation. I am cautious of ordering it now in case I have the same problem with the color not looking as bright as it looks on the PSD design. This banner is the same as the one shown above, but using a red color hue #f5002e.

enter image description here

I would appreciate any suggestions and knowledge on the right colors (blue, red, grey) to use to achieve a bright and vivid result when rendering my design to a vinyl banner, so that the text can be easily seen from afar in outdoor, every-day usage.

  • The colors you mention are hexadecimal values - which are RGB colors. Your banner will be printed in CMYK. Converting colors from RGB to CMYK will almost always give you a duller color. You should (if you aren't already) be working in CMYK and (as has been said) talk to your printer.
    – Cai
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 20:26
  • FYI: the technical term for the color range of a color system is gamut. At the least, use the "squint test" to get a better idea of tonal contrast..
    – Yorik
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 22:27
  • sidenote: do something drastic with that comma...
    – benteh
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 22:43
  • A simple text-based banner like this could be done with cut vinyl, which means your grey text could actually be silver vinyl.
    – Dre
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


This is is where communication with the printer is key. We cannot ideally help you without fully knowing what the requirements are.

  • I wouldn't be using Photoshop I would be using a vector program such as InkScape or Illustrator
  • You should ask the printer if they provide samples.
  • Reference a pantone color guide and do not rely on what color Photoshop is showing on screen.
  • Ask your printer if they have a template you are to use.
  • Make sure your system is calibrated.

There are several questions you can ask, you could read this: What should you ask the printer?

  • Also, they might even have Blue ink, or something. These are pretty basic colours, and the printer can guide you to create the best result. Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 3:55

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