2-3 color logo vs. 4 or more colors


I'm designing a logo for a client. I've always used 2 - 3 colors max because (besides simplicity of style), I always understood that it's more cost effective to print a two color logo than one with many colors. With so many digital RGB printers around now, does that still stand? TIA!

10/7/2016 10:55:00 PM

Accepted Answer

In my experience, it depends upon who is printing the work. If you are using an online printer... CMYK is almost always cheaper. If you are sourcing printing yourself, there's customarily a price break at 1-color and 2-color as opposed to 4 color. (3 color generally isn't enough of a price difference to matter. And 5+ colors is always going to cost more.)

So, in many cases 4 color (CMYK) ends up being cheaper than limited colors.

With the proliferation of online printers, jobs are ganged and the art from many different customers is run at the same time then trimmed and split per order. So printing 4 color often results in cheaper pricing.

However, there may be other considerations....

If there is a need to consistently match the same color across many different pieces, spot color is still the best method.

For a logo, you ideally should have several color configurations - CMYK, RGB, spot, greyscale, solid black. When designing a logo I don't necessarily try and limit my use of color, but I don't think "photo" either. I design in 1 color, then during exploration of a chosen design, I'll play with various color usage to determine the minimal amount of color the logo would need to be conveyed appropriately. In most cases I settle on 1 color, greyscale, 2 color, and full color (CMYK / RGB). It's good to provide these options to encompass all possible use cases the client may have. I don't really ever consider how much the cost of printing the logo may run the client... I've given them variations to use.. its for them to determine which variation suits their need.

10/8/2016 3:27:00 AM

2 colors is usefull if you print a pizza box, or a letterhead using silk printing or one head offset print.

But if you are using a full color system for a magazine, for some flyers, a digital printer, for the web, etc. it does not matter.