Colour Bulletin

Colour matching is an area fraught with pitfalls for the unwary. So often brands are created for print on the page and for electronic media where matching with paint or with materials which have limited colour palette is very hard to achieve. Understanding processes helps however. Paint being a solid generally looks the same whatever the substrate and only varies according to reflectance and lighting conditions. As sign background any be painted these form a reliable colour reference.

Text may be through the use of printing inks or vinyl decals.

1. Paint refs

The ideal paint references to use are the NCS Colour System ( or RAL ( It is acceptable to use CYMK, but you should avoid using proprietary systems like Dulux (hard to match), RGB or Web Colours (which describe colours on a screen).

2. Ink colours – screen print

The ideal ink colours are Pantone (PMS) N.B. ‘coated’ references are best (, or matching RAL or NCS paint colour. It is acceptable to use CYMK, but again you should avoid proprietary systems like Dulux and screen colours like RGB or Web Colours (FF2288 etc.)

3. Vinyl references

The ideal vinyl references are MacTac/3M, but it is acceptable to use Scotchcal.