For truly noble business cards, black text is often too rich in contrast – a subtle grey is better. However, to ensure that grey text is printed sharply and cleanly even at small font sizes, standard four-colour printing is not sufficient – a spot colour is required.

We have already written about spot colours for business stationery  in this blog – we were talking about particularly bright or metallic glittering colours. But did you know that spot colours are also important for the most discreet of all colours? Correct – we are talking about grey, which is usually only simulated in printing. This is because in standard four-colour printing most colour tones are represented by screen dots of different sizes in the basic colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK).

For a medium grey, for example, black dots cover exactly 50 % of the surface (see illustration below). Sometimes the grey is also composed of several screened colours (2nd row), for example to achieve a cooler or warmer colour shade. In both cases – especially with small, fine fonts – the text quality suffers: the letters appear frayed and blurred.

It is quite different when grey is printed as a special colour – i.e. the grey is filled into the printing machine and then used as a solid tone on paper – then even the finest elements are always sharp, as shown here in the 3rd row.

Under the magnifying glass you can see the difference quite clearly:




But “real grey” text is a visual treat even without a magnifying glass. It is rarely used on business cards, invitations and compliment cards in the age of industrial four-colour printing and is therefore an ideal stylistic element to stand out from the crowd.

Provided you have the right supplier, this optical luxury is not expensive at all. As a card specialist, prinux, for example, also prints business stationery with the spot color grey on a daily basis, so the additional costs for the individual job are kept within narrow limits. Ask for free samples of business cards with grey text and/or a quotation – you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. (Please enter the keyword “spot colour grey” in the comments field)